These days, our days, this very internet-jet-information-global village-social media age is one of INFLUENCE!
It is a time where people are pressured on every side via every form of media to tow certain lines of speech, plans or actions. Behavior is highly influenced by the environment because we are exposed to a high frequency, velocity and abundance of information. The goal of many of those who propagate this information is to give themselves, their ideas, their products or concepts, visibility and notoriety. They want to win, they want to sell more, they want to be the it-group. Hence many do anything, literally anything just to get their idea trending. In the desperation to succeed at all costs, expect little attention or gravity to be placed on the implication of the ideas, information or concepts being pushed out with such ferocity.
The result of the preponderance of these sorts of information, puts pressure on those who bother to take a second look and think “maybe not”. The truth is, there is such a pressure to belong, to identify with the main stream, to line up behind the stereo-type, to band with the Joneses, to stay politically correct, just so you don’t look odd, out-dated, etc. The bandwagon effect is in full force and effect. The inability of most people to lose their social capital in a bid to stay different makes them compromise their values. The truth is that we know that everyone and anyone who dares to be different, or stand away and alone from the crowd will lose a lot of social capital.
It is such a difficult proposition to differentiate between right and wrong is a norm these days because everyone is an authority. All they need access to is a few pages on Google and they go all out preaching their opinion, cementing their concepts, no matter how half-baked it might have been. How can there be so much access to information and such an apathy for real study? It seems that those in the past who had to peel the pages in order to get their facts, did more work than most of humanity today. The abundance of information in our day has obviously not proven to be enough. It is evident that people will need to go beyond the head-lines, tag-lines and by-lines. Until that is done, don’t find it odd to discover in time that you are living an idea or concept that you really have no facts, conviction or understanding of.
At the end of the day, you all we see are people who seem all so lost in the crowd; because their lives are not clearly defined by principles that they have a grasp of. What is your life’s center? What is your life built around? Is it something always moving? A shifting ground? Or something more concrete? Saying your life is built around God is not enough, what are the governing principles in God that your life derives its stand from? If you do not have a grasp on this, it may be difficult for you to spot any difference between yourself and the crowd.