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Society Influences Human Behavior

In: English and Literature

Submitted By TWillo
Words 857
Pages 4
Society has been manipulating human behavior for centuries, commanding great influence over how we view ourselves and others. Life in the United States is generally fast paced, a society of ‘runners’ we struggle to fit daily activities in our already packed schedules, leading us to find short cuts in order to maximize our time. The quest for instant gratification in mental performance and physical beauty has normalized the extreme use of controlled substances along with surgical procedures that alters the physical appearance of an individual. Dissatisfied with their natural attributes, a frightening majority of society seems to be battling with their inner demons or low self-esteem; they willingly put themselves in harm’s way in order to fill this void.
The need to maintain a favorable view in the public eye and presence of our peers is obviously prevalent in our society. While the idea is not flawed it’s the way in which we go about achieving this status that is rather bothersome. Women especially often wear the hats of many roles, juggling work, family and even school females increasingly find it difficult to take care of their selves, paying less attention to their physical appearance. With the popularity of reality shows more and more women are comparing themselves to women on TV who seem to have it all. Likewise college students are also in the juggling game, trying to do well academically while participating in extracurricular activities, work and enjoying social pleasures. The pressure cooker of society has made instant gratification a viable option for those who are looking to do it all, with little or no thought given to the ramifications of these seemingly valuable shortcuts. Margaret Talbot in her essay examined the popularity of neuroenhancers in Universities. she found out that these drugs that are meant for prescription use only is quite common on campus as they are widely and readily available to students who are seeking to maintain a competitive edge in their school work while taking part in other activities and enjoying their social life. “I have Adderall for sale 20 mg for $15,” one of many posts found on the BoredAt website where college students have idle conversations. Adderall is a prescription drug used by adults and children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the warning for this drug states “Misuse or abuse of amphetamine may cause serious (possibly fatal) heart and blood pressure problems”. Nonetheless college students experiment with Adderall as it is known to increase focus and productivity, hence fulfilling the need for instant gratification. Similarly Virginia Blum highlighted the quest for instant gratification within our society as an increasing number of individuals seek “to maintain their edge in a culture obsessed with youth and physical perfection.” She argues that television more specifically reality shows that takes primetime spots based on physical alteration through plastic surgery is to be blamed for the increase of individuals choosing to undergo this rather drastic option.
Most of us can remember a time when it was perfectly fine to study hard in order to achieve good grades; this means that something has to be sacrificed in order to devote more time to academic work. Just the same it was normal to alter physical appearance by spending time working out, targeting specific areas in order to see desirable results. Hard work increases motivation and satisfaction as the reward is not taken for granted. The problem with these traditional methods is the time and dedication it takes to achieve and maintain results is not popular within a society who demands everything ‘now’. Unfortunately the right now attitude has coupled with low self-esteem and media flaunting a specific image of ‘beautiful ; cosmetic surgery has taken over and has proven to be the number one choice for many persons, giving them an unlimited amount of access to procedures that promises the outcome of a more physically attractive version of one’s self. Reality shows such as extreme make over and I want a famous face is normalizing the instant gratification of plastic surgery. “Typically, the young participants on I want a famous face bring to the surgeons pictures of what they’re after and the surgeons more often than not promises them match.” Individuals now have access to plastic surgery as its popularity has driven down costs; many persons have risked their lives in order to obtain specific changes in order to feel better which may indicate an underlying self-esteem issues that no amount of surgery can address, “although most of them are conventionally attractive to begin with, we learn in painful detail how inadequate they feel in relation to their template celebrity,”
These are the dangers of instant gratification using drugs and plastic surgery to enhance our abilities, it eliminates our drive and motivation to succeed as it takes nothing of us to cheat or take the easy way out. Academic performance could decrease if students are led to believe that drugs are needed to help them concentrate and perform at a certain level, and individuals believe that they will feel better about themselves if they look like the stars on TV or in magazines.

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