Have you seen anyone and felt “how can someone be that stupid and wondered what runs in their mind?”. I had so many times. I understand that decisions are affected by the environment but sometimes I can’t help but think ‘why so stupid?’ I mean sometimes it feels that people forget to apply common sense. A few days ago, I got a message on WhatsApp from my friend. It was forwarded so many times. The message was about the changes made in WhatsApp due to the new rules of the Indian Government. Check out the images below.
Did you read the whole message? Now, what do you call the people who created and forwarded this message many times? Look at the last line – ‘you will get three ticks if the government has started proceedings against you’. I mean what? As if WhatsApp can change its whole design just to help the Indian government and if this message is true, would the person who created and forwarded this message arrested by now? What interests me more is what runs in people’s minds when they forward messages like this? Do they believe it? Or is it fun to forward? Last year, India lost a wonderful actor ‘Sushant Singh Rajput’ due to suicide. Everyone in the country grieved for him. Just a week before his suicide, his ex-manager also killed herself. Now, knowing this everyone started assuming stories and that’s human nature but what unexpected was, people started posting social media statuses about what they think happened. They came up with a story that big celebrities in Bollywood raped and killed his ex-manager and then killed the actor before he could open up in the media. When I saw this story as a status in one of my friend’s WhatsApp, I couldn’t believe how people can blindly share such stories. Immediately I told her to delete the status because it was not verified and honestly was very insulting to the deceased. I mean conspiracy theories also have a basis and limit. Thankfully, she deleted it. The next day, the father of the ex-manager filed a case about these stories. Now, what do you expect? You expect people to understand and stop posting such stories but everyone came up with a different kind of story this time and my friend posted it again as a status. This time I did not tell her to delete it. From sharing the picture of actor’s dead body to these conspiracy theories and believing a guy who said he talks to the actor’s ghost; people crossed the line of stupidity and that is when I have decided to write an article on this and here are the types/levels of stupidity I see every day
Image Source: Google
Levels of Stupidity
- Over-confidence/ I know it all
People of this category think they know everything and believe they are geniuses. For instance, take a writer who uses unnecessary big words to sound intelligent. When I read articles, I see few writers use fancy words in the wrong places which changes the whole meaning of the sentences. I always wondered if they knew the meaning of the words they used. What’s interesting is despite many commenting on it, they repeat the same every day. I talked to a few of them and I have found out that they publish articles without re-checking/double-checking what they have written. When asked why? They said they have confidence that what they have written was right. Sadly, I see more and more people like this every day. What’s common in all these people is they overestimate themselves and never really grow. They never realize the mistakes and refuse to change. When they face a problem because of it, they try to manage or escape for the moment and then get back to repeating mistakes. I have also mentioned this in my previous article ‘Self-beliefs’. Take for example a person who just completed a course in the stock market and is ready to compete with a professional? We can’t help but think how stupid they are. These category people always underestimate the situations/problems.
- Discrediting others
This category is related to the first one or maybe a level after it. This kind of people cannot realize that there are different ways to solve a problem. As they mostly think they are right, they fail to see the skills or talent others have and end up discrediting them. For example, an older person who is hell-bent on solving a problem his way and denying others even after clearly explaining him the smartest way. These people are always the first to give unnecessary advice and criticize other’s way of doing things. Have you ever watched sports with a person who always criticizes the players? They constantly tell you how they don’t get what others see in those players. They say they are only representing the nations because of money or recommendations. I am sure you have crossed paths with these kinds of people at least once in life. They can never appreciate others and will always try to show that they know it all. When I decided to take psychology as my career, everyone gave me advice when they had no idea what the subject is about. One of my uncles who told me he knows everything about psychology suggested I pursue an MBA after my bachelor’s. Yes! you heard it right. Although these people believe they are presenting themselves as knowledgeable, they only end up making fools of themselves.
- One- Dimensional
These kinds of people have a very closed mindset. They fail to open their mind and listen to other’s views, ideas, and opinions. They blindly support a view and hate others. These are also the kind of people who justify their views in every possible way. I mean sometimes the justifications don’t even make sense. You know like you fell but I was pushed by phenomena. I see these kinds of people mostly in political or religious conflicts. When there is a social issue, a smart person listens to both sides and then comes to a conclusion but a one-dimensional person comes to a conclusion without listening to the other side and when you try to explain it to them, they start hating. After some point, they will completely block listening to the other side and start searching for ways to spread hate even on the good things. If you observe politicians or their supporters, many spread the news about why the public shouldn’t vote for the opposition instead of why the public should vote for them. I believe these people do not work for the betterment of society rather they work to spread hatred on a particular community. Only if these people can open their minds a little bit, the world would be a more sensible place.
- Influential/Influenced Stupidity
This, I think is the ultimate level of stupidity and can be seen in two types of people; the one who influences and the one who is influenced. Social media has become a major part of our lives to the extent where we cannot imagine life without the internet and this has become a platform for many to express their opinions. Although it sounds good people started stating their opinions as facts and their followers started believing everything they say without verifying the content. This became super easy for people who want to spread hatred towards a community; like open an account with a few followers and start spreading hatred towards a community and that’s it you will have thousands of followers in no time. The followers who believe everything starts to share the content they see and it goes on. Remember the example I have given above? The conspiracy story about the actor everyone believed? The public not only believed the stories, but they also went on to hate those celebrities mentioned in the story. To be honest, no one knows what happened to the actor; if he killed himself or was murdered and the whole point was to find out the truth but due to these stories, the truth somewhere slipped away. It’s been a year and yet no one knows what happened and this happened in many situations. Recently, in Tamil Nadu, a teacher was arrested from a PSBB school for sexually harassing a student. Later many students opened up their stories about how they were slut-shamed by the teacher. The teacher was also seen topless and wearing a towel around his waist in online classes and shared links of pornography with his students. The teacher was immediately dismissed and arrested by police. Afterward, many students from many branches of PSBB school opened up about their traumatic experiences, and the teachers who harassed were named publicly. Soon it became a national issue but the spotlight was only on PSBB. The public has divided into two groups for-PSBB vs Against-PSBB and the core issue of child abuse has slipped away. How did this happen? People started sharing everything they see without verifying the core issue and the content. If only people verified the story before sharing it, they would have understood that the teacher who abused the student would have done the same in some other school too, not just in PSBB. Adding to this, Many influencers today are going to any extent to seek validation and increase followers in their accounts. Recently, three videos in India have gone viral in just a week. One tied balloons around his pet dog and uploaded the video of its flying, Another released a video about the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh saying he is not Indian and the third sang a rap song insulting Hindu culture and gods. Insulting a religion, stating opinions as facts are considered cool and intelligent these days. Sadly, many like this are going unnoticed, and in short, all this is plain stupidity.
A stupid person acts in a way where it neither benefits them nor others. He/she can never realize the consequences of his/her actions and ends up harming others. Sadly, these people who can never learn from mistakes can influence many others in social media and the public has become blind enough to share without verifying the content. If you don’t want to be stupid, ‘My suggestion is to open your mind, listen and verify all possible ways and never make stupid people famous!’