The Oxford English dictionary defines the word “sheeple” as “people compared to sheep in being docile, foolish or easily led”. I was surprised to find sheeple in the Oxford dictionary. I was also surprised to discover that it’s been in use for over 70 years. Social media had me convinced that it was a relatively new, derogatory term used to describe people who do not agree with you.
And that is just one of the ways in which social media tries to mislead and misinform us. My Facebook wall contains a daily barrage of lies, exaggerations, half-truths, misrepresentations, and regurgitated dogma. Some of it is amusing. A lot of it is just annoying. Most of it is incredibly divisive.
And the sheeple who look at this stuff believe and share what they already agree with, then make derisive and often hateful comments about things they do not agree with. But who are the sheeple? Are they, for example, the people who think Donald Trump is the answer to America’s problems and Hillary Clinton is the Antichrist in high heels? Are they the people who believe that Bernie Sanders is the only sane person running for President and that all the Republican candidates came to the race in the same clown car? Are they the people who believe we should love all our enemies all the time, even when they are shooting us in cold blood for some imagined political gain? Are they the people all Muslims are potential terrorists?
To a large degree, the answer is “all of the above”. And I could go on and on about the 1%, European refugees, gun violence in America, globalization, etc. that are presented in a two-dimensional, simplistic way that implies you are 100% correct to agree and 100% wrong to disagree. Get a grip people. The world just isn’t that simple.
Yet these memes, videos and slogans keep flooding my wall. How can this be? To me, it seems that is because many people have either lost the capacity, or just don’t want to put in the time to think for themselves and form an honest opinion. Why bother when there are so many people willing to provide you with “authoritative” opinions that you agree with before you even read them.
What makes people sheeple is not what they believe, but how they come to believe it. If you agree with something just because you like the sound of it, then it turns out you were misled and misinformed, it is your own fault. If you’re not sure about the veracity of something, look it up—you’re sitting in front of a Google machine for f#ck sake!
The Two of Wands is a card that represents personal power, boldness, originality and individuality. It is not a card of the sheeple. It invites you to take control of your life. Reversed, however, it can indicate handing over your power to someone else and letting them take you in whatever direction they want to lead.
This seems to me to be a perfect time to unplug from the constant onslaught of opinions, each demanding your obedience. It doesn’t have to be a permanent hiatus, just long enough to hear yourself think or remember how to. Read a book, do some research, talk to real people, go for a walk, meditate, think. Get away from the cacophony of social media for a while. When you come back, question everything you read, look for evidence, test its veracity yourself. Don’t let social media have its way with your emotions. It turns out it can be quite the vampire.