Your opinion matters up until the audience decides to swipe again or leave quietly

Nathan Coley, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UK

One of the hardest exercises I am currently practicing is the ability NOT to comment, react or newly added raise hand option in social media. And while I’m also a communication consultant and I have to spend a lot of time online, checking up what’s new and what’s more in social media, it’s rather intriguing for most.

By definition, as a brand, you crave for consumers’ interaction. You’ve probably heard about “there is no such thing as bad publicity, even the bad publicity is good publicity”. Yet, I’m silent. I’m that online consumer which can’t be reported in ads campaign or targets, almost annoying for marketers, who’s on most wanted clients list, but refuses to show up in online. And it’s perfect just the way it is, enjoying the news of the day dissected by random people who know everything better.

From vaccine to laws, justice and the president’s attributes, everyone knows better how a country should be lead. From health issues to bad romance, everyone has a recipe for you. From religious practices to faith, everyone’s God is different. And yet, we are all on the internet.

I’ve been using a lot lately the new ClubHouse platform and while at first I needed to talk, share and comment my ideas and opinions, after carefully listening what others have to say, I decided it’s better to be silent. Not because I don’t have an opinion or I can’t argue, but rather because the screen fatigue got to this app, too, although it’s just audio only. The amount of early adopters who are present in each and every rooms, having opinions about everything, is incredible.

But it’s even more than screen fatigue, it’s all the noise created by people who are not necessarily prepared to active listen, debate or understand logical arguments. It’s the bla bla we need to say out loud in social media just to be there, to ride the wave, to capture the audience. Unfortunately, the 15 minutes of fame are so last century, now everything should be delivered for the wow effect in less then 1–2 seconds. There are so many online activists preaching their own beliefs that the virtual stage can’t sustain all organically. Some succeed, most of them no. But after your enthusiasm and speech is hitting the online stratosphere, your opinion matters up until the audience decides to swipe again or leave quietly. So share it wisely.

And I can’t stop wondering, what would world be like if the people were as passionate about their professional work as they are for their online debates? Would it be a better place? Food for thought up until my next post here.

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Full-time journalist with a strong focus on culture and social impact.

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