These days, it’s easier than ever to access media outlets. After all, the news is only a couple of clicks away at all times thanks to a little device called a “cell phone.” Everyone, of course, is aware of all the fake news and headlines that circle around the Internet today. But with all of the focus on fake news, perhaps the real problem with the Internet is overlooked: All of this instant information is taking away people’s abilities to think for themselves. Articles have even been written that encourage others to think critically and evaluate a website’s credibility.
We’ve all been there before—we get an idea in our heads and then come across a headline that directly conflicts with our ways of thinking. We freeze for a moment before frantically performing a Google search. “Perhaps my thinking was wrong all along,” we think. Content by the new information we found, we begin to change our opinions to match what others across the Internet think. By doing this, we are simply conforming our thoughts to match the thoughts of others.
Despite all the feel-good quotes about being born to stand out, the hard truth is that blending in can often be much more comfortable. So we blend in. We believe the thoughts of others are better or more accurate than our thoughts. We lose the ability to think for ourselves and hold fast to our own opinions.
Even here at “Follow the Script” this could become an issue. Perhaps you think becoming a librarian is the best way to utilize your English degree. As I talk about the benefits and salary of a technical writer, what will happen to your opinions? Will they change? If I offer a book suggestion, will you pick it up immediately, or research for yourself and decide what you want to read next?
No matter what you read on this blog, never lose the ability to think critically. And, please, think for yourself. Hold fast to your opinions. Because even though it is easier to fit in, this must be said: YOU WERE BORN TO STAND OUT!