Mental Slavery

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Sat Sep 2, 2023 · 1358 words · 7 min
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Controlling minds isn't a new business

Human race has an unfortunately long history of slavery in various forms.

We are now witnessing a new (and milder) form of slavery spreading at rapid rate, where certain people in power take control of minds of a large population.

Classically, this behaviour has commonly been associated with politics wherein the one's running for elections or in the House will try their best to fabricate lies and sway public opinion.

However, that isn't even the tip of the iceberg now.

Advertising did what it had to. It proved how a person not even associated with the products can advertise it and still get masses to buy it. A cricketer advertising wall paints? Yes. An actress advertising detergent powder? Yes, but do they even wash their own clothes?

Beginning of influencer era

The thirst for power is never enough. A lot of people want to stand at that position where they control minds in numbers ranging in thousands or even lakhs.

Social media gave an outlet to such people to build their following. To interact with their followers and pitch (sponsored) products to make a living out of it. With the influncer industry expected to cross $21B worth in 2023, being an influencer is a real job.

In fact, with democratization and greater access to internet platfroms that help reach corners of the world, being an influencer has actually become an aspirational profession for Gen Z.

Amidst the chaos that our generation has become, a unprecedented number of Gen Z people stand to face the influencer wave. Swaying minds is a profession. Affecting your choices are no longer the domain of advertisers and politicians. Your neighborhood friend could very well be running a side hustle which in essence is nothing greater than a psychological play on his virtual "followers".

Business is fuelled by people at the bottom

Society has always been structured in a pyramid. A handful people at the top, and as we go down the pyramid, population increases. The exact legend of each level on the pyramid changes. Usually, this pyramid shows how there are few rich at the top, and too many poor at the bottom. But the idea is nearly universal since it denotes the hierarchal struture of society. Even in your office, there are many workers under a manager, and a regional lead above few managers; so on and so forth until we reach the CEO.

Wealth pyramid

If only the rich (i.e. topmost level) kept buying products by other rich people, the ecomony won't sustain. Neither would their wealth grow. To fulfill their own goals, they need the help of people at the bottom in massive numbers.

It is assured that not everyone can be that influencer they aspire to be. After all, if everyone became an influencer, it would totally dismantle the industry since there won't be anyone to follow influencers religiously.

Reality is that an absolute majority is satisfied being part of a cult that religiously follows a person, brand or movement.

They're mentally enslaved to the few who control their minds, their choices, their manner of thinking etc. By choices, I'm not simply referring to, for example the brand they choose when buying their next denims. I'm instead referring to how they choose to lead their lives.

An influencer believes marriages are worthless. Young people are being influnced by them in their crucial life decisions. An American celeb posts pictures with Pinot Noir. Then south asians will be found figuring out how to source that in their land. Finance influencer advertising certain products? Of course, half a million folks will dump their money now.

The stripes are set in black. Its become an inherent part of the follower base. Many of them feel they are being propelled forward in life by following advice of those who have already been successful. But in reality, they're not realizing that the said successful person is successful because of the follower's lack of IQ.

One who makes the most noise is most heard

This is where we move to how personal life gets affected due to a weak mind.

The basic idea behind this phenomenon is sadly hurting personal lives. Because the opinions we often see on the internet are usually negative, it shapes our mind to have a pessimistic outlook.

Take for example, any average app or product online. The review section will have a proportionally higher number of bad reviews, which often are well detailed. The positive reviews are proportionally lower in count and are often generic ("nice app", "interesting book" etc).

The same method carries over certain biases or ideologies in people's mind. There's no dearth of studies that conclude how excessive reading of news on the internet harms mental health. Why? Because its the negative sensational news that gain traction and thats what the news houses produce. The same negative thinking becomes a part of reader's mind.

In a similar vein, there's no lack of content on the internet by people who share pessimistic thoughts. People explaining how nobody in this age can be trusted, or that you're against the world on your own etc. Such content creates an internal insecurity in the viewer's mind, leading to severe results in their personal lives.

Back in the days, the books that were sold were about how to keep a house happy, or how to grow up as a person who can succeed in the responsibilies of life etc. Today we have TikToks, Reels and Shorts that in 1 minute tell you ten reasons why your girlfriend is bound to cheat on you.

Its rare to see content that teaches people how to find the right person in life. Because that won't catch eyes.

There's another unverified hypothesis / conspiracy theory. If people started trusting partners more, then they'd be dating less and services like Tinder could go out of business. These apps thrive because people don't want to settle and instead want to keep searching for someone better or simply because they were taught that people aren't trustworthy. A satisfied population is a threat to capitalism. Dissatisfaction and insecurities are what sell products and services. (suggested reading: If You Wake Up Beautiful Tomorrow...)

How to avoid all this? Don't let your mind be weakened.


So, why did I start this post with advertising and influencer business if I had to finally spiral back to a seemingly unrelated topic? Its because the progression of an individual through this maze is gradual. Nobody takes their hardest drug on day 1. They reach there gradually.

With heavy influence of advertising in the present capitalist society and an ever growing class of products targeted at children, our young generation is being trained since an early age to succumb to the weaknesses of the human mind. By the time they're teenagers active on social media, they're seeing a wave of content that relies on dopamine hits and weak mind. Wrong theories about the world are being constantly reiterated on their feeds.

By the time these people are in their adult phase, they're weakened to the point where they're unable to trust their own self.

Now its true that most people drop out of this loop at one phase or the other. Most have that "realization phase" where they're re-evaluating their lives and resolving to be better person. Regardless, there's no stop valve on the entry of new people in this loop of mental slavery.

What do we do?

Possibly, limit the use of social media if you think it serves you negative content. Surround yourself with persons who make you feel good and positive about yourself.

A smooth way to gain strength is to practice taking difficult decisions. Its common to be surrounded by opinions or voices that try to sway you. Every time your personal decision is against the popular tide and you follow your decision, you train yourself to be one bit stronger than yesterday. One bit more prepared to take more decisions in the future to reclaim control of your life and lead a satisfied life.

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