Einstein famously said that Information is not knowledge. So, here’s the thing – we have more information than ever, and anecdotally at least, it seems that the level of knowledge is growing inversely in relation to information thats flooding us. The level of hate, ignorance and completely-devoid-of-logic messages on social media is simply staggering. I suspect (and hope) that the belligerent, as always, simply dominate the conversation channels and are not an accurate reflection of how most people feel.
The truth though, is that what gets said over and over again becomes the truth. And the messages flashing on the screens of millions of people become the topics of real life conversations – and actions. How many of these messages travel and resound because it is so easy to share and forward? Because most people will not pause to think and analyze? Do the people forwarding hateful WhatsApp messages know where they came from? Who wrote them and for what purpose? I’ve met and spoken to plenty of people who disagree with these messages and think the rhetoric is despicable, but those are not the voices you and I hear online – and understandably so.
However, if we don’t stand up for what we believe in, we deserve what we get in the end. So, if you’ve spent time thinking about something, if you have an opinion, no matter how unpopular, put it out there. This is not about which political party you support or which side you take on a specific debate. Whether you’re a secular person or a religious fundamentalist, pro or anti immigration, if you’re someone who has thought about an issue – we need to hear it. We need more original thought and fewer thoughtless forwards. We need more personal analysis and fewer echoes of populist views. We need more challengers, more quiet voices speaking up and more people thinking for themselves. Dare I say, we need more ThinkFiends?