What influences you?

Influences: Has everyone stopped thinking for themselves?

We recently received some kind of newsletter (euphemism for marketing) that claimed that 75% of consumers RELY on social media to make their purchasing decisions.

I’ll say that again a different way: They claim 75% of consumers NEED social media to buy shit.


influences do you think for yourself

What happened to thinking for yourself?

Okay, I’ll start out by saying the broad phrase “social media” may possibly include ANY form of exchanging information between users. That often means comments and reviews on ordinary websites and blogs.

It’s not a precise science to determine exactly when the “social media frenzy” jumped the shark into utter uselessness. My guess is in the last six years.

But it’s still a shame that people practically rely on “reviews” for products to make their decisions. Yes, certain [functional] products may actually benefit from (real) user reviews. Think tools, or other useful products that are almost impossible to fake. But other subjective matters like books and movies – reviews are worthless for the most part. I cannot tell you how many “one star” movies we’ve bought just for that purpose that we’ve enjoyed. Maybe one out of 10 turned out to be busts.

“Real world review” (i.e., friends, family?)

This got me thinking even more. “Back in the day,” a product of some kind got REAL testimonials in a very different way. Face to face, and real, honest demonstrations! If someone had a product of some kind that they could truly vouch for, they’d PHYSICALLY demonstrate it to that person. Let them touch, feel and use the product. Nowadays, it’s all done “remotely” without the tactile feedback you’d get from an in-person evaluation.

If a product on Amazon has 1000’s of review, and 75 of them are negative – how do you sort through the jib-jab?

Video “views”

I wanted to add this (sort of) relevant point to what is “influential” these days. And that is “video views.”

To be honest, there are many videos online that can be deemed somewhat worthy. Either funny, touching, useful or whatever. But there is a horrible (and FAKE) trend taking place. And YOU (yes YOU) are falling for it.

It’s the “views” conundrum.

You see – YouTube counts a “view” when a video has been clicked (“play”) and watched for at least 30 seconds.

Fakebook? Not only do they AUTO-PLAY any video in your stupid fucking timeline (with no sound), they count it as “viewed” if a user has it on-screen for just THREE-SECONDS (3 seconds). So that means 99% of the auto-play videos you NEVER fully watch in your stupid fucking timeline – COUNTS AS A FULL “VIEW.” You have officially been informed of that scam as of this moment. Do what you wish with that information. No wonder some videos have 100+ million views on Fakebook – while they have just a fraction on YouTube. FAKE.

What is the best way to be “influenced?”

I’m not here ranting because being “influenced” is necessarily a bad thing. It’s HOW you go about being influenced which is the elephant in the room.

“Social media” (and I mean the meaningless fakebooks, twitters, snapchats) are the worst influencers. If those venues are your chief source of being “influenced,” then you might as well kill yourself now. You’re done. You’re fucked to the high heavens. Nothing of “self” left in you. At all.

I think the best way to have positive influences in your life is not so simple.

  1. You need to form a very tight circle of profoundly trustworthy people, friends, etc. I’m talking a handful. A couple, maybe three or four at most.
  2. NEVER base your entire judgment on reviews or popularity alone. Examine the merits, specs, etc.
  3. Don’t be so quick to “follow” glowing reviews. Keep an eye on them, sure – but always resist until you can do more comprehensive research.
  4. Do whatever you can to DISTANCE yourself from the muddy waters of “social media” if at all possible. I promise you it does not ADD more to your life than it TAKES AWAY.

There ARE good influences out there – don’t worry!

Finally, I’m not saying that anyone that touts this or that is a BAD influence. No way!

It’s all about rooting through the bullshit to find trustworthy, confident sources.

Mass-market sites are not your best choices. While Amazon.com is actually quite good for many products – they’re also disastrous for countless others.

One top tip is to limit WHAT you buy, And limit it to what you really NEED.

Learn how to judge the merits of a product BY YOURSELF. Think about that for a minute. What if you were stranded somewhere with NO ONE to help you? Will you be able to fend for yourself? Or will you wither away because you didn’t have that stupid fucking “support system” you relied on for most of your adult life.

Profound questions indeed in a time of blistering so-called “progress.”

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