Bullshit is everywhere. Students are especially exposed to the art of bullshit; it has become all but natural. Bullshitting is rampant and an honest problem that impacts virtually every aspect of education.
Bullshit fills our daily lives. Think back to the last time you were at the grocery store: Do you really think the cashier cares if you have a nice day? How about that last time you told someone to have a nice day; did you truly care?
Bullshit has become commonplace, and it comes at a heavy price. For the most part, we’ve lost a sense of meaning for things.
Its domain knows no bounds, as bullshit has also taken form in the classroom. Many professors only foster bullshit incubators when they designate page or word limits on papers or require a meaningless explanation. If a student is left with nothing to say, the remainder of the paper will be filled with empty information, which would once again be bullshit.
Classrooms are not the only place where bullshit festers. Bullshit is often cultivated from being rewarded for simple tasks or for fulfilling an expectation. By rewarding middle and high school students for completing general tasks, they are not adequately prepared for the thanklessness of real life. An expectation for bullshit is therefore instilled when one anticipates being rewarded for completing an easy task.
Deception is also a crucial consideration in the art of bullshitting. Advertising is a prime example. Rarely do advertisements discuss the actual worth of a particular product. Rather, the majority of advertisements focus on things like sex appeal or popularity. Fooling people into purchasing a product for these reasons is bullshit.
Bullshit has become implicit, ingrained into our collective subconscious. We need to know when to call bullshit, on ourselves and on others. Bullshit is a detriment to daily understanding as well as education. It damages the foundations of our youth and our susceptibility to deception. Bullshit makes society vulnerable to dishonesty.
Bullshit should be inconsequential, but sadly it saturates our world. Calling bullshit is difficult and time-consuming, but it must be learned. Consumers must learn when they are being puffed or deceived, just as voters should learn when their representatives are doing the same. All bullshit is alike: worthless.
The question then remains: What can be done to stop the bullshit from flowing further downhill?
It begins with education. We must teach young students to be critical consumers, not only of products and advertising, but also of the world around them. General statements can no longer be taken at face value. We must decipher conversations in order to separate the bullshit from the real.
For those that are past the stages of bullshitology, true meaning and clarity will only come through the persistence to be critical of our surroundings and our society. Unfortunately, nothing can be taken at face value. The bullshit must be shoveled.