Taking Other People’s Word For It

Break Dancers

More and more, I see evidence that people don’t form their own opinion. It’s easy to determine, if you know what to look for. People repeat something they’ve read in Mashable, or on CNN, or Twitter. Instead of forming an opinion or even giving something the benefit of your own review, I see people simply parroting the voice of a blog post, or the current tide of Facebook comments.

I was just reading reviews of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire (amazon affiliate link). In two blog posts, I read where people hadn’t even touched the product, but instead, were re-reporting the words of others. Huh? So, now it’s okay to voice your opinion without having even seen or touched the product? Well, okay. (I pre-ordered a Kindle Fire, by the way. As a heavy user of Amazon products, from their ebooks to their digital video service to their music, it’s a perfect tool for me.)

Use Your Own Head

Today, I’m starting a new nutrition program with Jacqueline Carly. We’re using Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Total Transformation (affiliate link), based on the same findings in his bestseller, The Paleo Solution. I’d read Wolf’s book on the recommendation of Julien Smith and others, but it wasn’t until seeing Robb speak in person at BlogWorld Expo in Los Angeles that I came to understand the ins and outs of why he felt so strongly about the nutrition plan. It took some thinking and some researching and some consideration to decide whether Paleo would be a good dietary plan for me.

But what’s funny is when people talk to me about why it’s a bad plan. They tend to cite the same arguments, which have appeared in reviews or blog posts from other dietary plans. They state the same defenses that are often commented about on forums. The words are almost the very same all the time.

We have to use our own heads. It’s not okay to take shortcuts and just accept other people’s views. When I looked into this 30 day total transformation program, I knew a lot about Wolf already, plus I had the support of my girlfriend, who’s about to complete her Master’s in nutrition. But I still looked it over for myself, too. I still did what I could to understand the program, its detractors, and more.

Find Your Own Path

Seeing all the “conventional” wisdom out there is often disheartening. It’s amazing how often people just throw their opinion in with others. With all the access we have to information, don’t we owe it to ourselves to learn a bit before we form an opinion? Maybe we can use some shortcuts from time to time. But as a default? We have to stop. That means not as much “me too” thinking. It means being willing to find our own path to information, that we have to stop answering questions with “I’ve heard that it’s crap.”

But don’t just take my word for it.

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