Social media swallowed me whole, chewed me up and spat me out in the last eight months of COVID. I have met more brainless google doctors than I had anticipated to meet. Which just proves that online schools will always thrive through search engines.
Fauci is a fraud.
Hydroxychloroquine is our salvation.
The Chinese are behind this.
The Italians died because they’re old.
Bleach is a potential antibiotic.
Racism is in my head.
Disability is a choice.
Model minorities are to be emulated.
Women should always be professionally dressed.
Postpartum depression doesn’t happen to brown people.
Why do women run?
Masks cause carbon dioxide poisoning.
Keep adding to the list above so we can spend the rest of our lives squashing propaganda that starts from the right and takes everyone by fire.
When people present their opinions on the internet they try to make them a dogma. Like people are really listening and buying it. Why is that? Yup! Cuz some are actually buying it. That gives a false sense of faith in our half-baked stupid theories. Forming an opinion about an opinion is the most thriving business of social media.
But since social media is usually the least biased source of information I get my news from here. Every news channel has such a strong allegiance to this wing or that wing that they aren’t reliable all the time.
However, might I suggest taking a lot of what’s presented on social media as observational data? The credibility of a ton of this data isn’t really well-founded.
Even though I know it’s not credible, I do get swept away by the tides of opinions. I have doubted theories that I now believe in. I had once believed what I consider a sham now.
But I have finally figured out a program and a carefully implemented method is what I employ to ascertain the validity of a certain vogue statement that makes its circles on social media. My program consists of putting my opinion aside, taking into account all the crap that has come out of the mouth of the person whom I’m reading and my own understanding of the situation.
So I’ve finally landed on a graded system of how reliable information on social media is depending on the people it’s coming from. You can name these grades something else. I actually have named them after the famous three states of matter.
1. GAS OPINIONS:
These are opinions made by people who, colloquially, “talk out of their ass”. So they’re basically emitting large amounts of gas that’s either based in propaganda or hearsay. It’s either based in what their mother believes in versus the woman who they’re sleeping with. Their opinion really changes multiple times a day and they have no shame in changing it so frequently either. In their opinion, their opinion is like a butt hole. Everyone has one. I listen to them for comic relief but really listening to them for too long is going to cause some cognitive fatigue because they will suck you in. In the words of Bernard Shaw,
“Don’t wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig actually likes it”.
2. LIQUID OPINIONS:
Most people would argue that opinions exist in fluid states. They change shape and form and are hard to really remain the same over time. But fluidity isn’t what constitutes liquid opinions. This particular state of holding an opinion is marked by an extreme noncommitment to an opinion that one holds themselves. There is a lot of “what-about-ism” that’s quoted. There’s the constant regression of the argument by citing some old theory that has been proven wrong. There is some weird hinting at this and that and ultimately nothing. These opinions are worse than gas opinions. They’re changing so rapidly that the holder of said opinions isn’t sure how to go about them. Needless to say, these opinions don’t have traction.
3. SOLID OPINIONS:
Now if you spend nearly as much time on social media as I do, you know this opinion type. This is the type that’s going to eat us alive. These people won’t back down. They’ve made up their mind and will do everything in their power to change the narrative according to how it suits them. They won’t sit quietly after hearing strong counter arguments. They will keep coming back with more fervor and strength. They’ll keep strengthening their argument with heavy vocabulary and because talk is cheap, they’ll write many worded answers to simple problems.
So here’s my take on opinions in the age of COVID!
They don’t matter. Science matters. Science is irrefutable and solid. That’s the only solid state of opinion that there is.
Data matters. Changing hashtags doesn’t change the validity of BLM. It further endorses it.
Women will continue to speak up. Some in their life and in the case of one very unfortunate woman who took her own life due to postpartum depression, in their death. Merely holding an opinion about their PPD won’t change their body into thinking that it’s not happening.
Disability will come to us in all forms. Some of us will get strokes in their old age and the same Medicaid funds that we once objected to will become our salvation. An opinion won’t prevent disability. Nothing prevents it. What makes it better is having a community that doesn’t see disability as a curse.