Why does American culture and society place a very high premium on being liked, especially
being popular over intellectual attributes? Why is anti-intellectualism rampant in American culture and society? What makes being popular & likable the be and end all in American culture and society?
Most people are ego centric and emotionally need approval.
One of easiest ways to satisfy both is to make yourself in demand. Everyone loves being around the person who "lights up a room" whether it's with their personality or their stunning good looks!
If an average looking person associates with beautiful people or is in a relationship with one who is beautiful it automatically elevates their stature in other people's minds. Being popular makes you a "brand".
We live in a "pop centric" world and everyone wants to be associated with whomever is "in" or hot. Social media reinforces the need to be liked. One example awhile back involves Kevin Hart. The comedian has 14.8 million Twitter followers, and in the past few months Sony made a move to take advantage by sponsoring his messaging.
"As part of the recent Sony Hack, The Daily Mail got ahold of an email from producer Clint Culpepper that says that Hart was paid ($2 million to Tweet) about the thriller No Good Deed this past fall, and that a deal was being worked out to have him "say something positive" about Denzel Washington’s action movie The Equalizer."
Most people will never earn $2 Million over their lifetime and yet Kevin earned that for sending out a Tweet! 140 characters or less!
That's the world we live in!
Being liked by many is more important than being smart to get ahead.
This IS so true. I found THAT out VERY EARLY in my working career. If there was merit, I would have BEEN ON TOP very early in my career. Oh no, dolts who were likable & kissed up were promoted VERY QUICKLY!!!
If I had it to do over again I would have invested more time w/ social groups & after school activities as well as making the happy hours rounds with the VPs and other people in power. There's truth to deals being made at lunch & at golf cour
I think it is possible that america has developed an anti-intellectual culture because so many of their brightest are immigrants. Jealousy maybe?
The assumption might also be wrong. I mean I know new york is not anti-intellectual and I wonder just how many places in the US actually are.
Also, I think the size and importance of the media in america might have something to do with this issue and others. Media sells whatever you will buy. So that spells for a country with a brainwashed culture and a brainwashed youth even more so. Sound familiar?
While I don't completely agree with the "anti-intellectual culture" concept I must admit in the U.S. there has always been a battle between "Cool" VS "Nerd". We're living in a time where being "hip" "cool" "trendy" and popular is very important
Most people stay emotionally at a high school level. The rest of us have to function in the society they create. We have to chase popularity merely to survive.
If I didn't need anything from any body else, I wouldn't care what anyone thinks of me.
Unfortunately our wealth and success is primarily based upon how well we interact with others for the most part. Having the "right people" like you makes all the difference in the world. Most of us hate campaigning/networking for "backers".
That's something new that came about with Facebook and social media. It's a construct and gives people a false sense of popularity or lack thereof.
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