Strongly held, one-sided opinions on complex issues, often openly communicated with very little reason, personal research, experimentation or data to back them up.
The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.
Bandwagon wisdom is a plague in our society. It’s unhealthy, and it appears to be growing in popularity.
I see it in subjects related to parenthood, in preconceived ideas at work, and obviously in controversial topics like politics, and religion. It’s everywhere.
I admittedly catch myself doing it occasionally.
I honestly think we do it most times without even thinking. It’s so easy to “jump on the bandwagon” and share that great one-liner quip, without really comprehending anything about the subject. We do it in person, via blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, and through a myriad of other channels.
Why is this a problem?
Bandwagon wisdom is a tool of manipulation. Topics are carefully crafted to be spread without much thought, but in doing so, we only perpetuate the problem. By “jumping on the bandwagon” we essentially fall prey to these manipulative campaigns, and unfortunately show our ignorance in the process.
The next time you think about retweeting that highly opinionated, controversial, one-sided statement, perhaps stop and take a moment to consider how much you really comprehend about this topic. Have you spent ANY time trying to understand both side of the issue? If someone called you out on your retweet, would you even know the least bit about the issue at all? Until your answer to both of these questions is, “yes”, why not just hold off on taking a firm public stand?
If you’re going to take an opinionated stance on complex issue, that’s great. I actually applaud informed opinions being shared on complex issues. But if you’re going to take a stand publicly, please start by doing a bit of research first.
The vast majority of times you retweet something, no one will even know whether you’ve invested any time researching the issue beforehand. But you’ll know, and to me, that personal integrity is what matters most. Let’s stop falling prey to the manipulation. Let’s please stop with all of the bandwagon wisdom.
I don’t do comments on this site, but if you have thoughts, I’d love to hear them. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.