Outsourcing our opinions

Image: margot pandone

Social media is making us lazy at forming our own opinions

Though plenty of the people I’m connected with on social media are perfectly comfortable writing and sharing their own opinion, I’ve noticed lately how far more are content with merely sharing the opinions of others.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone. It’s far easier to read something we more-or-less agree with and then share that. It’s a lot less work than taking the time to figure out our own thoughts with enough clarity to write them down.

I wonder if the danger of this, however, is an outsourcing of our opinions. Are we spending as much time as we should truly thinking about things for ourselves? Or are we relying on others to do our thinking for us?

I’m not suggesting it’s wrong to share articles and opinions written by others, I am suggesting that that might be unhealthy if it’s all we do.

Politics and religion are the two subjects that come to mind especially here. Sometimes I read an article someone has shared and wonder whether the person who shared it even read the it. I know I’ve occasionally enjoyed a headline and shared it without reading the article. We need to do better than this. I need to do better than this.

If our conversations around politics and religion are going to be conducted with a healthy, reasonable tone, we need to be prepared to truly think for ourselves. We need to weigh things up and do more than just passively agree with someone else saying exactly what we want to hear.

We need to be people who are genuinely thoughtful, inquisitive, open, and progressive in how we think and engage with subjects like politics and religion.

We mustn’t be those who outsource our opinions and let others do our thinking for us.

Though there are many benefits to social media, we can’t afford to let it stop us from thoughtfully and responsibly forming our own opinions.

Fear and beauty

Revolutionary calmness