Everyone has an opinion these days.
He’s either a dick or exactly what we need. It’s either made up bullshit or what people need to hear. It’s either the best thing you’ll ever see or the biggest pile of horseshit ever. I’m either right, or I’m as wrong as nipple-tassles on a nun.
Forming an opinion often happens without you even knowing. A bit like growing a skin-tag or developing a love of Korean food.
If you want to guarantee that any opinion you form is a flawed as a Vegas hotel, here are some tips.
Only take input from your filter bubble
When you need to decide where you stand on a particular issue, the best thing to do is to check out Facebook. Sure enough, you’ll most likely see a whole bunch of people and opinions that support your hunch. Keep reading what you’ve already read and keep watching the news channels you’ve always watched—those guys know their stuff.
Your filter bubble surrounds you with people just like you; powered by algorithms smart enough to show you everything you already agree with.
Why go anywhere else?
Forget all about your values
Flawed opinions are best formed when there’s nothing to pin them to; nothing to anchor them. Hearsay, wishy-washy opinion pieces and the mood you wake up in are guaranteed to help you form opinions with spines made from damp-socks.
Figuring out what matters most to you (in yourself, in others and out there in the world) is hard. Nowhere in the rules does it say that your opinions need to be based on any kind of personal bedrock. In a world where opinions are cheap, why bother investing anything of yourself in yours?
Listen to whoever’s loudest
Whoever shouts the loudest probably has the most belief in what they’re saying, so it’s those guys you need to listen to more than anyone else.
Think about it. Why else would they be spouting forth so vociferously if they didn’t have a huge belief in what they were saying. Their volume signals their passion, so trust that they’ve done their homework and get in line.
Form an opinion based on your worst qualities
It’s a scary world out there. The war in Syria. The rise of ISIS. The widening wealth gap. The refugee crisis. No job security. Wall Street greed. Homegrown terrorism.
More than ever before, you need to protect yourself and fear for what’s coming. So as we try to scrape through this in one piece, any opinion you can form that’s based on fear and greed (or similar base qualities) is going to serve you best.
Don’t trouble yourself with facts
Facts are great. What’s even better, are points of view that hang out in the edgy suburb of Fact-town. They’re the uber-cool, sexy classmate to the bookish, still-a-virgin nerd that all facts are.
We’re all sick and tired of so-called “experts” spouting facts and statistics. What’s way more compelling is a strong point of view that you can really get behind.
In a world that’s vomiting alt-facts like a fat man with norovirus, who needs to back up an opinion with a dull fact when you can back it up with a compelling alt-fact instead?
You can do that stuff, or…
Do any or all of those things. Go right ahead.
Doing so may well turn you into a bigoted, hypocritical fucktrumpet, but don’t let me stop you. After all, this whole article is just my opinion, so go ahead and make up your own mind.
You’re entitled to form an opinion however you want. Just don’t expect anyone to have confidence in an opinion that has no foundation. Is an opinion that’s based on meaning and fact worth more than one that’s based on vapour and hearsay?
Yes, it most definitely fucking is.
Opinions are only cheap if there’s no meaningful investment in them, and there are far too many of those kicking around.
Opinions can be beautiful and powerful, but only if you build them out of things that have beauty and power. Things like honesty and value. Things like compassion and integrity. Things like love and curiosity.
We have a duty to form opinions that are fact-based and value-lead, and this, it seems, is one of our greatest challenges. To move from fear and greed fuelled opinions that keep us stuck and stumbling, towards opinions that elevate what it is to be human.
What part do you think you can play in that challenge?