It used to be that you had to go through years of schooling, and then just as many years of experience, to be considered an expert on a subject. Or, you had to find a professional, make an appointment, take the time to go in to meet them, and have a discussion to obtain their expert opinion and advice on the matter at hand. Today, you simply have to grab your laptop, tablet or smart phone and jump online to find a slew of self-professed experts ready and willing to provide their opinion (and usually for free!). While the rise of social media has provided us with an endless ability to share and discuss with millions of strangers online, it has also opened the flood gates to a wave of individuals who claim expertise where none exists.
Everyone has an opinion, and they want it to be yours too.
From health to wealth, fitness and relationships, legal and moral, there is a plethora of advice available on the World Wide Web telling exactly what you need to be doing to be living your best life. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and are just a few of the platforms available for any Joe (or Jane) Blow to disperse their recommendations.
And that’s not to say that only those doling out the advice are to blame. Sites such as Reddit’s Amitheasshole page allows people to ASK the friendly strangers of the internet to pass judgment on them! The issues that come up are often more entertaining than anything, but every now and again a question will be put forward that clearly required the help or guidance of an actual professional. Antivaxer groups exist to warn of the supposed dangers of vaccinations, a cite information that is without fact or support. Becoming rich is now easier than ever, with someone who claims to have done it, willing to part with their knowledge for a fee. Or, people who know what investment strategy you should be using, even though they know nothing of your goals. And don’t even get me started on fitness.
How do we filter the good from the bad and should we?
Sometimes people are simply out there looking for an opinion that confirms their own, other times they are in genuine search of help. People have a personal responsibility to seek out information from an appropriate source, but there should also be a responsibility to refrain from preaching a sermon they might not actually know. So what do you think, is this increased accessibility to advice and opinions beneficial, or is social media giving a platform to those who should maybe stay on the sideline?
Facebook: Everyone is an Expert. You can probably be one too! https://bit.ly/2WgtQoS
Twitter: Everyone is an Expert. #Inmyopinion #Imnotanexpertbut https://bit.ly/2WgtQoS