I like to take it a step further. I'm by no means a solipsist, but on its most base level, reality can only be experienced by the individual; therefore, reality is (in my opinion) simply an individual's cognitive reconciliation of:
-the sum of all recorded and retained sensory input
-that input processed and congeled into individual truth
-then that individual truth being reinforced or refuted by further input.
The social aspect of reality is simply a community of individuals finding commonalities with their experiences. The situations in which common beliefs are found, you form bonds, friendships, support groups, or political parties. The situations in which those common beliefs are not found you form debates, arguments, fights, and wars.
For the most part we all agree on certain things; laughter is fun, poop smells bad, illness is to be avoided. But, on other topics we can only suspect that our experiences are the same. Most normally-functioning human bodies know what it feels like when you have to urinate, what it feels like to touch something hot, or what the color green looks like, but since we cannot step into one another's bodies, the true reality of what those REALITIES are like for another person are not fully comprehensible to the global community. We can only assume that those sensations are the same for everyone. But if you could step into someone else's body, you might wet yourself because the urination triggers feel different, you might run red lights because they look green to you, and roses might smell like poop....
Which brings up another murky discussion... do roses smell good because they smell like roses, or do they smell good because society has agreed that they smell good? Dogs exist without a language society and they freely and actively smell poop all day, but could care less about roses.
So my question is... isn't it possible that (although our individual realities are vastly different) we have all conformed to society's reality in most aspects?
So many times people view the societal norms as reality, and deviations from that reality exist as varying levels of abnormality. I look at it a different way. We are all given our individual reality based on how our individual brains work. How well we conform dictates our societal success. When one person breaks out and says they're gay, or psychic, or marxist, we dismiss their reality since it doesn't fit our own... but I think its just that their reality doesn't fall within the 80% of the bell curve and we therefore don't believe that it could be possible. After all, society exists within that 80% bell curve.
I don't buy it. Society conforms to that 80% bell curve. I'll stay on the 10% of the bell curve that gets dismissed most of the time. I like my reality