TED Conversations

Michael Williams

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The freedom of speech is fundamental, should we allow the freedom to be popular?

Think back to High school, you are really thrown as a person into a social dynamic unlike anything you've been apart of before, but this dynamic will remain almost unchanged as you grow older into adulthood.

With that being said, are we really allowing freedom of speech to trump freedom of popularity and therefor trend setting from just being popular and not from the good things being said.

As you think about this, understand I am trying to point out that there is a divide in our world, and in the 1st world issue of things, a popularity issue.

Most people who have fame, draw an audience and can lead by some unhealthy examples causing rippling effects throughout mankind in ways I am not sure many are starting to see and others have dreaded since high school.

Talk with me now, about how and if not why we should allow the popular / famous people of our day be spoke persons for some dumbing down project of consumerism, where everyday the most highest rated shows are teaching our people how to not critically think, how to properly spend and save, and what ideals to focus on if you want to become successful, not just cater to the human brain like a carrot on a string in front of a donkey.

Ted is a good start, but look around, to compete with the media giants of today more needs to be done.

How do you feel about this topic?


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    Jun 5 2013: The concept of popularity. Where does it all start? I think you've correctly pointed out that it starts in the teenage years. Here's what I think about "being popular" from my current experience as a freshman that has been rather eye opening.

    1. The concept of popularity is constructed by teenagers. The social structure in school is a microcosm that kids create while being influenced by hormones and extreme thoughts and opinions. The "society" in high school is really quite messed up.

    2. What worries me is that this concept of popularity and group identity carries over into adulthood.That the most powerful people in the world are powerful because this teenage concept of popularity trickles down into adulthood is unnerving.

    3. High schools breed demagogues. These are the people who gain popularity at the expense of others. These are the gangleaders who pick on a certain group. These people, as you stated, will "draw an audience and can lead by some unhealthy examples" in the future.

    Essentially, I think popularity is totally ridiculous. Popularity was created by kids as a form of social structure. Social structure in adulthood should not be based on popularity. I don't think some celebrity should be promoting a cause. I think an expert who knows what he's saying should be educating us about how to spend and save, what ideals we should focus on, and whatnot.


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