Stupid is as stupid does.

– Forrest Gump

How can people be so stupid? You hear it all the time. Probably out of your own mouth. Certainly out of mine.

But are folks really getting dumber?

If you ask ten people if society is getting dumber, nine out of ten will Google it, tweet it or ask Alexa.

And there is your answer. Thinking for ourselves is rapidly becoming a lost art.

I occasionally rant about our arrival at Idiocracy 500 years ahead of schedule.

But are people really becoming idiots en masse? Are we truly devolving as a culture?

Here’s the thing. I don’t think we are idiots as much as we are behaving like idiots.

There is a difference. A pretty big difference actually.

The former implies that our IQs are literally shrinking. While I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that were true, it’s neither here nor there.

The real issue is that most of us seem content to simply buy all the BS coming out of our sociopolitical social media echo chambers and call it a day without a single critical thought in our heads to challenge any of it.

Why is that happening?

Good question.

Which answer do you want, the popular one, the cynical one or the truth?

The popular answer is that we’re all so stressed out with our busy little lives that we simply lack the time or the will to determine truth from fiction or right from wrong anymore.

The cynical answer is that the popular one is complete BS — we have more free time than ever before — we just have our heads stuck so far up our smartphones that we lack the attention spans to do anything beyond texting, tweeting and asking Google, Siri or Alexa for answers.

The truth is that the cynical answer is true. We are too content to behave like lab mice in a Skinner Box to make our own decisions. Which means we are behaving more and more like clueless idiots every day. And the irony is that we’re too distracted to even give a crap.

Forrest Gump had it right. Stupid is as stupid does. And we sure are getting good at doing stupid.

Image credit Paramount Pictures