With each passing day, I become more skeptical of our beloved ‘too much’ information age with its myriad of thought leaders, opinion shapers and loud mouths.
This is why.
Unlike long ago, when after hearing something I had time to process and make up my mind about it, nowadays I seem to leave most of my opinions in the hands and fingers of opinion shapers. I doubt that I am alone.
Whenever we engage with new findings, it has become the norm to check out other people’s opinions around the matter. In most cases, we choose the ‘right’ thoughts by checking out how many retweets, shares and likes another’s opinion has received. Tragically, this is how we get pulled in by the popular which as you and I already know, isn’t always the right.
This poses a grave danger. We, most likely, turn away from those who disagree, even if they have a point.
Yet the worst sin we commit is to turn away from our conscience, the inner prodding that might differ with the popular opinion.
Subliminally, the loud thinkers influence us so much that if we aren’t careful, we stop forming our own opinions and instead rush to see what so-and-so has said in order to form our truths.
I have met people who agree that the information age is turning us into thought puppets. I can’t say for sure if this is true or false. However, I have personally made a choice to not let others-people and media too- provide all answers and solutions to the world around me.
I am also hoping to create a gap between the time I read something and when I let myself respond to it. I am looking for the time between stimulus and response. Fingertip and brain.
As C. S. Lewis says, ‘When Freud is talking about how to cure neurotics, he is speaking as a specialist on his own subject, but when he goes on to talk general philosophy, he is speaking as an amateur. It is therefore, quite sensible to attend to him with respect in the one case and not in the other… ‘
P.S. I have absolutely no issue with thought leaders, if anything, I absolutely admire people who’ve taken time to grow themselves into the best they can be in their fields. However, it is becoming more difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff and as such it is important to always have your own intellectual growth in mind even as one exposes themselves to the millions of not-so-subliminal influences out there.