If you’ve spent even 15 minutes on the internet at some point, you’ve probably felt something like this:
Now I doubt you’d put it like Homer did, but if you’ve felt this way – you may be more like everyone else than you thought. A recent study conducted by YouGov.com shows that 55% of Americans believe that they’re at least slightly smarter than average (with another 36% stating that they’re average). Or as Peter Moore says, “…the average American thinks they’re smarter than the average American.”
Their results are shown as follows:
Now they go on in their survey to ask questions based on income levels and other things. It’s pretty interesting so I’d recommend checking it out for yourself.
I however have come up with my own theory to explain this study:
Stupid people are loud.
What’s worse is we’re wildly entertained by stupid people and their loudness. As evidence: I give you Honey Boo Boo. In fact, I’ll raise you a Bridezillas, and toss in any one of a dozen celebrity meltdowns just for good measure! (Britney, Lindsay, Amanda, take your pick!) I know at this point you’ve probably hidden all the young children and are coming after me with the “swear jar” because I said a “no-no” word (twice!), but I’m going to say it again — someone keep track and I’ll pay my tab at the end of the post — these people are stupid. And what’s worse is that they’ve become famous for it. So what does that say about us?
I think that the reason all of us average Americans assume we’re at least somewhat smarter than everyone else is because the normal intelligent individual (like us) knows to keep their mouth shut unless they’ve got something intelligent to say. Stupid people can’t stand silence and so they have to fill it with anything, everything! So when we’re asked to compare ourselves – all we can hear is roaring stupidity – we assume that if that racket is the norm, we’re at least a couple of steps ahead of the game.
(I know Ron White has said, “You can’t fix stupid.” But consider this my disclaimer that I consider stupid to usually be a temporary state of being — if only so I can have excuse to later be dumb myself. Fourth of July is coming up, and I’d hate to rule anything out…)
So here’s where I make this applicable, are you listening?
I firmly believe that if you’re reading this, then you probably don’t qualify as stupid (at least not right now, I mean: You’ve got great taste in blogs!). So please, be careful how you present yourself online – even on social media forums with friends. More and more employers are looking past the job interview and into the online profiles of their applicants. This means that, while you may clean up nice for the interview, if you’ve spend the last 5 years online badmouthing past employers it’s possible your ‘big break’ will be a big bust. In fact, there are even websites now that offer “social media checks” to curious employers. Twitter has gotten people fired and Facebook has been used to help police track suspected criminals on the run: Stupid can have lasting effects if showcased online.
My advice to you is this: Don’t be stupid. Especially online. Because once you’ve posted that status or shot off that tweet, you lose the ability to take those things back.