The Price of Clout Chasing

52%. That’s how much the price of a 99p flake from an ice-cream has risen.

Truth be told, I’m more shocked I’ve found an ice cream van that actually sells ice cream rather than other items a person would consume for leisure.

I wanted to tweet my outrage. “How dare ice cream vans sell actual ice cream?!”

But it made me think. Why would I tweet that?

Member of the public reacting to the shocking news of ice cream vans selling ice cream.

Maybe I’d find equally outraged individuals online who would be equally appealed by this heinous, yet perfectly legal trade.

Or maybe I want what every human being craves, especially on a hot summers day, an-inflation-savaged 99p flake and attention.

That’s what social media really boils down to. Attention. It’s why everyone has an opinion on everything. From how to make tea to how to have cereal (milk last in both cases obviously).

That’s why you find often incredibly hot takes. Not because people actually believe it but because nothing attracts attention like having the most wrong opinion.

Suddenly, everyone feels the urge to inadvertently share said wrong opinion by bolting on their own opinion.

But which opinion would people remember? The wrong one or your much-needed correction?

This is why I find it problematic to even quote tweet bad takes because we’d simply spread it further.

Political parties have started to use this pattern by both spreading clear disinformation or by deliberately putting out content to be lampooned. E.g. Election material using the comic sans font (🤣), “Stay Home” message being dropped (went viral), etc.

It’s also encouraged state actors to spread disinformation in order to manipulate public opinion of target states and, ultimately, elections. The 2016 US Presidential Elections, the 2016 European Union Referendum and the 2017/19 General Elections are a few examples of this.

The easiest way of stopping disinformation (and ridiculously wrong opinions) is to either fact check, or even better, to not share it by attaching your opinion to it.

Just start a blog, that no one would read, and put it there instead *coughs*.

Easier said than done, I know. The whole premise of social media is to state an opinion with the aim of gaining attention (or clout as zoomers say) if said opinion is shared by fellow sheep social media users.

Starve the clout-chasing of oxygen and it will wilt away.

Monsieur Map

If it makes you feel any better, our opinions are usually a cow’s opinion anyway, moo points.

Joey explaining the opinion of cows doesn’t matter.

I know, I know. I forced that one too much.

On the flip side, you need this cacophony of opinions to understand the true value of silence.

Who knew the flooding of opinions on the marketplace could have a deflationary effect and cause the value of silence to appreciate.

Tangent alert: I hope you’ve understood what deflation is by now because I will still force these references.

I realise the irony that I, a blogger, am complaining about opinions on a site that is geared towards publishing opinions.

My retort to those who point out the irony of this post.

TL;DR – Silence is golden.

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