The social web has enabled a lot of people to say a lot of things about everything and everybody. There is no filter to determine whether what is said is right or wrong and yet many believe a lot with a few questioning everything.
As we enter yet another new year one of the greatest challenges the human network will have is choosing who and what to believe. There will be a lot to sort through. Whether political discourse, academic exchanges, left and right media spins or everyday folks simply stating their opinions about anything and everything each will present us with a choice to believe or not.
Who and what we believe is largely driven by a set of five influences including:
- Past experiences
Our past experiences are filters in which we view the future. Our education is the bases by which we learn facts that shape our beliefs. Relationships are the human experiences that mold our beliefs. Media plays to exsting beliefs and tries to mold new ones. Religion creates our convictions as to the validity of what we believe and whether it fits our models of belief. Everything in life changes including our beliefs and the five influences on our beliefs shape future experiences and outcomes.
Believing Right or Wrong
For everyone of us who think they know what is right there is an opposing crowd that thinks they are wrong. The media thrives on discourse, conflict and sensationalism and so does the entire human network. We have been lead to believe that the insignificant is significant and the meaningless is meaningful. Sorting through information with the aim of determining what is significant and meaningful only leads to the consumption of the meaningless and insignificant. Like a virus infecting our brains what we consume quickly begins to change what we believe.
We can easily be manipulated into a movement, a purchase or support of a person if we loose our true sense of belief. The media performs this manipulation purposely because they understand human behavior. When you influence human behavior you influence markets and markets represents trillions of dollars. The media believes in money and its influence over human behavior. Old media and new media chase the influence because at the end of influence is money.
Money is a powerful influence over beliefs. Yet allowing money to change our beliefs makes us insignificant and meaningless pawns in the game of influence. Real influence is one’s influence over themselves and not others.
In the new year be wise on what and who influences you. Your time and attention is your currency.