I re-shared my fb post that I posted 2 years ago- on this very pervasive tendency of people giving opinion on issues that they are NOT well-verse of. This is called ultracrepidarianism. The term that I myself learned from Think Like A Freak.
After two years, this habit seems to have no sign of ceasing but to my surprise it has become a norm to our society. Apart from ‘hollier-than-thou‘, this is another syndrome that apparently well-celebrated by the community.
These two diseases exist because of three main factors :
- The myriad and tonnes of information available online which people have a facile access to it.
- The spirit to know things- spirit of inquiry- sense of curiosity (you name it)
- Herd/mob mentality which people tend to be influenced by their peers and surroundings (majority).
Well, I don’t have enough time to spell out every mentioned factors but I am sure that you know them quite well.
Having listed all these factors doesn’t mean they are bad, even though sometimes it can be bad. It depends on how we deal with it. Like, having a lot of information in hand is obviously good, but it will not benefit you if you are not selective. Because, in this age we have no problems of getting information, but we have a very serious malady of filtering the information. And to have this ability, one must be wise, and how to be one-through vigorous routines of reading books (and reliable journals). Nothing beats books when it comes to ‘proper’ information. But still, you must know which book is good, too. Not that ones that sell fast only, but those books that offer you wide perspective on any issue.
I was once lectured by this one GP for ‘reading a lot’ on the internet. He become so annoyed with me as I tended to argue with him about medicinal matters. He said, ‘you can’t rely on online sources, we (doctors) went to uni an struggled for 6 years to be qualified as a doctor, and people come to us questioning things that they just googled and know very little, that would be unfair, no?’
It hit me hard that I pondered upon it for quite sometimes and came to realize-yes, I had the feeling of ‘know-it-all’ then, thinking that doctors can not ‘kencing’ me because I know what they know while the fact is, conspicuously, they know lot more. You can always read online to get some information, but do not over rely on it and make belief that you know everything afterward- that is very very dangerous.
While it is commendable to have some curiosity, I think we need to muhasabah ourselves too, that no matter how much we know (or we think we know) we will still have things that we don’t have knowledge about-in fact, a lot. So calm your tits, and keep the things that you know just for yourself. If you have things to know, please do some cross-reference with experts in the area or find books. Don’t simply share as if you were the founder of the knowledge. Please!
And just because majority of the netizens shared it, and believed that certain things are true, doesn’t mean you have to believe it blindly. Majority doesn’t necessarily true. Get some research done on a topic that is being a polemic-0r viral- before you make your own judgment. Stop the attitude of viral-ing things, even though to your knowledge it is true and essential.
All the things that I have written here actually, have been profusely discussed online as well as offline by so many people. The dangers that it brings to the society have been made known too. It is just us, being stubborn, and still have faith in sharing things (which mostly false) is OKAY and sadly they are people who think that sharing info ( which mostly false) is an epitome of great responsibility.