A horrible ailment in our society that has been dangerously underpublicised is the steady population of social zombies. Unfortunately this is a highly contagious and fairly widespread condition and many people are unaware that it is even affecting them.
‘What is a social zombie?’ I hear you ask? Well, there are a range of symptoms that define a social zombie and any one of them could mean that person is infected: people who don’t think for themselves, who hear something and believe it, who are easily swayed by peer pressure, who obsess over brands and gender stereotypes, who will agree with both sides of an argument in order to please everyone, those who value the norm above all else, and people who generally think that the commonly held opinion of the majority is invariably the right opinion.
Social zombieism is basically developed when someone succumbs to the herd mentality and can’t be bothered to critically appraise the world around them because it is just easier to let someone else decide for them. Ever been told that you shouldn’t like something because of your gender? Ever witnessed someone regurgitation things they’ve heard from other people without stopping to think of how stupid it may sound or how wrong it may be? Ever see someone change the way they act, or dress a certain way simply because it’s what’s fashionable? You have witnessed social zombieism. Ever do one of those things yourself? You could very well be infected right now.
Why should we avoid social zombeism though? Well, it depends entirely on you. I mean, if you’re happy to be an identity-less kiss-ass then go right ahead and catch the disease (though, chances are you’d already have). However, if you want to be a free-thinking, interesting individual with something worthwhile to contribute to the world then that is why you avoid it. What the world needs is positive change and thoughtfulness; what it doesn’t need is a group of idiots who just want to fit in. There’s no point in pandering to everyone and being so passive and insipid that you refuse to ruffle a few feathers. You might as well be dead - or replaced by a robot. Life is entirely different when you are actively shaping your own world-view through critical thought.
We all have our weak moments but what can we do to stop the spread of social zombieism and prevent ourselves from catching it? Well, the prevention and the cure are the same: question everything you think you know. Why do you want the things you want? Why do you dress the way you dress? Why do you do that thing with those people? If the answer is honestly “because I like it and think it’s right regardless of what other people think” then you’re doing it right. When someone tells you something, don’t take it face value but rather THINK about it before deciding whether or not accept it. Don’t be afraid to start an argument because even if you end up being wrong you’ll still have learnt something and you’ll have gotten there through critical thought; you’ll UNDERSTAND why you’re wrong. Look at the world instead of blindly following someone else through it.
Help spread the world about social zombieism and protect your loved ones.