WW: The Conflict of Influence
Updated: Oct 16, 2019
With Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter & Facebook the world is unlike how it's ever been before. The opinions of people who may not know anything are given extra validation because for some reason he or she may have been deemed an "influencer." I've held the view for many moons now that actors and athletes deserve exactly 0% more influence just because they are talented doing whatever it is they do that has gained them celebrity.
For a great play made in their particular field, yeah give them the due recognition. For philanthropic efforts which improve the lives of those who are less fortune - yeah, double down on that, at minimum. But for their personal beliefs and opinions, why does it matter? Why do people care??
I'm bringing this up right now because the US Women's National Soccer team just made it to the World Cup final again. One of, if not the, best players on that squad has been an outspoken critic of the president. That's very infrequent I know but she's gotten plenty of attention for quotes made about Trump. Her opinion is her opinion and part of what makes America one of the best countries on Earth is that she can have that opinion without fear of severe consequences. And she's really good at Soccer.
But why does it matter what she or any of the other hundreds of very famous people think about anything beyond their particular profession???
My best guess is that it doesn't but because of all the tv networks and various other channels through which comments can travel, a false and often undeserved inflation happens.
For the sake of conversation, I'll bring it close to home. I care very little about what Adam Thielen or Carson Wentz or Josh Duhamel think about topics that don't have anything to do with the things that have made them famous. It's great to hear about AO1 and the Thielen foundation but their views on so many other things doesn't much matter to me, and I don't think it should to you either. Chances are good that on many topics I would agree with Wentz and Thielen but just because they are talented doesn't mean their stances deserve air time.
This isn't a brand new thing either. Go back a few years and the gold standard of this topic would have been Colin Kaepernick. His kneeling during the National Anthem was a white hot issue that stemmed from a good place. He wanted to draw more attention to police activity toward minorities. That's a noble purpose that unfortunately got lost in the noise of how he was going about it. Then he discredited himself in the eyes of many - myself included - by wearing a Fidel Castro t-shirt and sox that illustrated police officers as Pigs. How dense of a person does someone have to be to not realize how terrible Castro was? So it's not a new thing, but the reality of it has come up again because of Megan Rapinoe.
As I make this argument why should my opinion matter? I'm not actually going to say that it should. Certainly not until I have proven to know what I'm talking about in the lane that I've chosen to operate in. And if that happens then I'll continue to stay in the lane that I know the most about except in my private life. Because I too have wide ranging opinions about all sorts of things, but since I think others should stick to what they're best at, I try to stick to mine. But for reasons that don't make a lot of sense to me, the idea of staying in a lane is unpopular. Everyone has to be activists these days. The approach of living a quiet life and just trying to be good at a few things seems to have gone the way of the Dinosaurs. But not for me and maybe not entirely, perception can be difficult to manage because of all the noise.
But I digress. It's entirely possible that I'm overlooking a key aspect or two of this topic. Get at me if you see what I haven't yet been able to! If nothing else though, try to spend today thinking about the validity of the opinions that you hear and whether they are merited! Maybe I'm not so far off about it.
That's all I've got to say about it though!
Have a great rest of your week.