Friday, August 28, 2009

Has the "Fox News" Mentality Taken Over Everything?

OK, so that's probably not the right question. Fox, while really awful, isn't the only outlet that I suspect in this...

The question is really much more broad. It's more like "Do people really not want to do their own thinking anymore?"

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get at work is "What laser printer should I buy?"

I understand why I get the question. I sell a number of products that are designed for use in laser printers. It's normal to ask for tips and things to look for when purchasing a new printer, and I help when I can, but I (and we as a company) do NOT make recommendations.

Why? The reasons are myriad, including but not limited to the fact that there are more printers than we can possibly test; people's needs are different; models and drivers change faster than we can keep up with and (this is a biggie) real, usable testing takes many months to accomplish.

With all of that in mind, simply testing printers and their output in a real-world setting could be a full time occupation. It wouldn't be one that many people would pay for, but it could be full time.

Many of our customers understand this without asking. A few more get indignant when I won't tell them which printer to go and buy, but then settle down when they consider the factors listed above.

A few more, however, get really, really upset when I won't say "Go buy this printer."

Sometimes they push harder. "You've GOT to tell me something."

No, really, I can't do anything more but to help you identify the features that are most important to you. "How can you stay in business if you won't help your customers?"

Helping someone and removing them from the thought process are two very different things.

Which is where the Fox (or MSNBC, or Rush Limbaugh, or what/whoever)question comes from. With all of these various ways that people are told what to think, and with all of the millions of viewers and listeners who swallow all of whatever flavor of spew that happens to resonate with them, has a large segment of our population just given up on thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for their thoughts?

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