Saying What's Popular: Perpetuating Social Opinions

I’m into social media. I’m not sure if you knew this about me, considering I NEVER talk about it in anything I write; but yes, I suppose you could say I’m an advocate of social media. An avid defender of Facebook, a progressive internet person, a rabble-rouser, an influencer– and several other marketing terms. I also absolutely despise social media.

I believe there are two different types of people on the internet. These two distinct behaviors also exist outside of the digital world, but the complex algorithms behind our favorite social media sites seem to put a magnifying glass over the every day annoyances of reality. These two people can be described with many different words: leaders and followers, broadcasters and viewers, seeders and leeches, content-creators and content-perpetuators. Label them what you will, there are people that create and people that re-hash. It’s the latter that infuriate me.

I get that social media is a platform for both of these sects of people, and that nobody should be punished for their actions. There’s always going to be somebody who gets to the front-line before us, and chiming in on the conversation that another person started shouldn’t make our statements any less relevant. What bugs me, rather, is the mass ignorance that social media sometimes breeds. 

I’ve always been one to develop my own opinion on something. Given, sometimes sticking to my guns makes me unpopular amongst my peers, and I’m not going to doubt that I sound a little egotistical saying this, but at least I can sleep well at night knowing that I didn’t judge a book by its cover. When I’m excited about something, I dive into it head first and figure out what I take away from the experience later. It feels like social media has made people feel like they don’t need to do that nearly as much anymore. I’m sorry, but how many of you ACTUALLY USED Apple maps before you decided it was terrible? Or, better yet, how many of you tried to find reasons to hate it instead of just figuring out whether it worked for you or not? 

This is just one example of my point. Everything is subjective, my friends. Just because somebody else said they hate something, and you respect them as a person, doesn’t mean you have to parrot their opinion in order to get along with them. I don’t know about you, but I actually respect people less when they refuse to speak up for what they believe in and adapt the opinions of others; because it’s a conscious choice.

Every single day, you are given the opportunity to: judge something based on the opinions of others, experience something for yourself, or decide that you don’t care and move on. If you eliminate the first option entirely, I guarantee you you’ll be more respected by your peers. Nothing angers me more than getting into a heated debate with someone and realizing that they haven’t even really experienced what they’re passing judgment on. Seriously, if you haven’t tried something for yourself, it does you no good to fabricate an “opinion” based on what you’ve read from your friends on Facebook. All you’re doing is closing yourself off to actually becoming an interesting person.

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