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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Propagandizing to the Lazy


 

Propaganda can be defined as information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. As such, propagandizing is the promotion or publicizing of a particular cause, organization, or view, especially in a biased or misleading way.

 

With this foundational understanding, I’ve observed a growing trend for just under a decade whereby some people spread misinformation, disinformation, or malinformation while relying on lazy individuals not to question the propaganda. The medium by which this increasingly occurs uses a social media scheme.

 

Take for example the many Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, YouTube, and other forms of social content posts related to original posters, influencers, or content creators sampling thing X so followers, subscribers, or consumers of content don’t have to do so.

 

Before I provide specific examples of how this behavior morphed into propagandistic endeavors, it’s worth noting the demandingness of inferences made in these posts. Allow me to illustrate my position through use of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).

 

Use of phrases such as “have to” or “got to” are demanding elements of irrational beliefs which relate to should, must, or ought-type commands. For instance, if I unfavorably believe that you have to appreciate this post, and you ultimately don’t like what I have to say, I may disturb myself about the matter when this demand doesn’t go in my favor.

 

With this understanding, I will now demonstrate how many (often younger) social media consumers fall for the unreasonable demands of others. Suppose content creator Y posts a video stating, “I listened to [artist Z’s] new album so you don’t have to! Here are my thoughts.”

 

This seemingly innocuous statement appears to serve the consumer well, because content creator Y apparently is providing a free service for individuals. Again, I interpret this claim through the lens of REBT. Therefore, I view the implied message deeper than on a surface level.

 

While content creator Y claims to ease the burden of a lazy consumer who could otherwise sample artist Z’s album on one’s own, the consumer is being conditioned to indiscriminately trust the views of content creator Y—because the consumer shouldn’t think for oneself.

 

I anticipate some challenge to my proposition, such as, “I think you’re reading a bit too far into this matter.” After all, content creator Y is merely sharing an opinion and no overt demandingness statement is expressed.

 

However, I argue that outsourcing one’s ability to think critically is an unproductive endeavor. When working with clients through use of REBT, I invite people to think for themselves.

 

By doing so, individuals increase their ability to live rationally by discerning for themselves about what they determine is good, bad, right, wrong, and so on and so forth. Moral conclusions aside, the clients with whom I work are able to examine what best serves their interests and goals.

 

Before I delve into how propaganda is disseminated using this social media-inspired scheme, I’ll share a real-world example of how marketing techniques have adopted this trendy medium targeted at lazy people. I suspect the reader is already familiar with how this conditioning works.

 

According to one Advance Local Media LLC source, an author states, “I had everything from the Dunkin’ Super Bowl commercial so you don’t have to.” Regarding the company, Bloomberg reports:

 

Advance Local Media LLC provides marketing services. The Company offers digital media journalism and community engagement of news and information in markets as well as provides consulting services for local and regional brands.

 

I make no moral or ethical claim about a marketing company that ostensibly advertises on behalf of another company using demandingness narratives. Nevertheless, I recognize the marketing ploy for what it is and retain my ability to think critically about the authenticity of an author’s claims when perceivably promoting products for Dunkin’ Donuts.

 

If a marketing firm apparently conditions a consumer into accepting at face value claims made by the firm, what else may the organization persuade the lazy consumer to do?  This is where Mockingbird media outlets and other adjacent sources have seemingly adopted the scheme to propagandize to lazy people.

 

According to an MSNBC source, “Nicolle Wallace watched Trump’s latest speech so you didn’t have to. Here’s why it’s ‘one of his most dangerous yet.” Not only does this media outlet use demandingness, it incorporates an irrational awfulizing narrative which evokes fear in the lazy consumer.

 

Why must a consumer rely on the biased opinion of Wallace? Granted, each of us has some degree of bias as is. Why then would a lazy person willingly be propagandized to by a lamestream… er… mainstream media outlet?

 

Is one truly too busy than to listen to Trump’s speeches, think critically of the material, and form one’s own opinions? Furthermore, the pre-established conclusion “one of his most dangerous yet” isn’t a rational belief if one hasn’t listened to a significant number of Trump speeches for comparative assessment.

 

Therefore, opting to lazily consume irrational narratives from corporate media sources may not benefit those who consume such material. Let’s examine another example of how this scheme is used to condition people.

 

According to one Renew Democracy Initiative source, “We watched Tucker’s Putin interview so you don’t have to.” By this point, I suspect you can identify the social media-esque scheme at play.

 

The consumer is propagandized to by a source that perceivably infers that one shouldn’t listen to a conversation between Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin. Why mustn’t one consume material of this nature?

 

In a blogpost entitled Let’s Have a Discussion, I posted the link to the Carlson-Putin interview so people could make up their own minds about points addressed during the dialogue. This is precisely how I approach REBT when inviting clients to think for themselves, rather than taking at face value whatever it is I have to say.

 

If you are too lazy than to think critically, consider opposing views, and determine what you think or believe about a matter, one supposes you deserve whatever self-disturbance stems from your careless behavior. By all means, go back to your self-deluded existence.

 

For the rest of you, I offer a method of actively interfacing with the world so that you don’t have to rely on others to tell you what products to consume or information to consider. If you’d like to know more, I look forward to hearing from you.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

  

References:

 

Bloomberg. (n.d.). Advance Local Media LLC. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/company/1714600D:US

Epshtein, U. and Gottesman, E. (2024, February 9). We watched Tucker’s Putin interview so you don’t have to. Renew Democracy Initiative. Retrieved from https://rdi.org/articles/we-watched-tuckers-putin-interview-so-you-dont-have-to/

Hollings, D. (2024, January 7). Delusion. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/delusion

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2022, November 8). Information overload. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/information-overload

Hollings, D. (2024, January 2). Interests and goals. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/interests-and-goals

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2024, February 11). Let’s have a discussion. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/let-s-have-a-discussion

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2023, October 19). Mockingbird media. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/mockingbird-media

Hollings, D. (2023, October 2). Morals and ethics. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/morals-and-ethics

Hollings, D. (2023, March 25). Question everything. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/question-everything

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, November 15). To don a hat. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/to-don-a-hat

Mass Live. (2024, February 12). I had everything from the Dunkin’ Super Bowl commercial so you don’t have to. Advance Local Media LLC. Retrieved from https://www.masslive.com/food/2024/02/i-ate-like-a-dunking-ben-afflecks-go-to-dunkin-order-with-martini-munchkins.html

MSNBC. (2020, November 6). Nicolle Wallace watched Trump’s latest speech so you didn’t have to. Here’s why it’s ‘one of his most dangerous yet.’ NBC Universal. Retrieved from https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/nicolle-wallace-watched-trump-s-latest-speech-so-you-didn-t-have-to-here-s-why-it-s-one-of-his-most-dangerous-yet-95419461652

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Donald Trump. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_trump

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Nocolle Wallace. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolle_Wallace

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Tucker Carlson. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucker_Carlson

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Vladimir Putin. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin

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