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Trained Monkeys



No, this post is not about a circus or zoo I recently visited. Unless of course, you consider Facebook and Google+ a zoo or a circus!

This post is an outright rant and I’m not going to apologize for it.  If you don’t like rants, click off the page, that’s your right.

I realized the other day that I’m a trained monkey.  That’s right! You read that correctly. In fact, anyone who uses social media is a trained monkey!

You see, they have us trained and very well too – I might add.

How many of you can honestly ignore the red balloon on your Facebook wall?

How many of you can honestly ignore the red number on your Google+ account?

We’re trained.  Just like circus animals.

I’ve been reading a book titled, “Incognito: The Secret Lives Of The Brain” by David Eagleman and it’s amazing to find out that what we perceive to be reality isn’t reality at all but a filtered version served up by our conscious mind.  This book is making me see the world in a new light and is what made me realized I’m a trained monkey.

I respond to stimuli like red buttons on social media sites.  And the developers of those sites know the psychology behind this better than we do.

We become diverted from our work to respond to the red buttons, the shiny objects over here and over there, and all the other distractions that marketers would have us pay attention to.

What would happen if we stopped responding? I wonder how much different the world would be if we just stopped responding to the stimuli. Stopped clicking the red buttons.  Stopped being distracted by the barrage of 24 hour news.  Stopped jumping on the next big thing band wagon.

What would your world look like then?

All the noise and chatter stops of from making a real difference in the world around us.  It prevents us from focusing on what’s being done behind our backs by governments, marketing companies, ad agencies, and our own self sabotage.

Yes, technology is a beautiful thing, but let’s remember we are human beings and not trained monkeys!  Just for one hour today, stop responding to the stimuli and see what happens! Call it a physical experiment instead of one of those social ones we’ve been trained to respond to!

Something to think about.  Now where’s my banana?