Opinions–For What They’re Worth!

opinions No matter what the topic, there are always opinions from both sides of the aisle. The point we need to keep in mind is that opinions aren’t etched in stone for each and every one of us. Opinions are exactly that, someone’s interpretation based on their walk through life. The goal for each of us is to listen to all, do your own homework, then create your own opinion based on your own facts. Just because so and so says that’s the way it is, just keep in mind that it isn’t but one person’s view.

Wikipedia describes opinions as “a belief about matters commonly considered to be subjective, i.e. it is based on that which is less than absolutely certain, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. An opinion may be supported by an argument, although people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments being presented.”

Opinions circulate throughout the world. Some affect the entire world, such as global warming whereas others tend to be geographically oriented. Opinions are formed on every action or thought coming from mankind, including but not limited to such topics as, political, medical, legal, cultural, public, editorial, scientific and/or educational.I find it interesting that even minor children appear to possess opinions. If you take the time to observe small children at play, you will hear the passionate discussions/statements with the added affirmations of where they got their information.

A 1940 study based on the theory of social influence, per Wikipedia, known asĀ  Multistep Flow Model, states “that most people form their opinions based on opinion leaders that influence the media. Opinion leaders are those initially exposed to a specific media content, and who interpret it based on their own opinion. They then begin to infiltrate these opinions through the general public who become ‘opinion followers.’ These ‘opinion leaders’ gain their influence through more elite media as opposed to mainstream mass media. In this process, social influence is created and adjusted by the ideals and opinions of each specific “elite media” group, and by these media group’s opposing ideals and opinions and in combination with popular mass media sources. Therefore, the leading influence in these opinions is primarily a social persuasion.”

Opinions are rampant throughout all media sites, including social media, with many displays of intertwined passion and emotions. There are opinions noted to be in transition as well as opinions that demonstrate no signs of budging. All in all, it’s rather amazing that such heightened levels of emotions are reached over information that has been acquired from someone else’s interpretation. If people in general were to realize that opinions aren’t ‘the final word’ but merely an interpretation to consider in forming one’s own opinion, they might be a little more open-minded.

This brings to mind the game we played as children. Approx 5 or more children in a line with the leader whispering a word into the first child’s ear and that child in turn passed on what he thought the leader told him to the next child- on and on- to the last child, who then stated what he heard. 100% of the time, the final interpretation was nowhere near what the leader had originally stated. A great comparison to how opinions differ from one individual to another and an eye opener in that we need to realize that what we are told isn’t always what it appears.

We currently live in a time where social platforms have provided an open door for all to participate in expressing as well as viewing others’ opinions. The internet has provided phenomenal resources containing multiple interpretations on every conceivable subject at your fingertips, but again, mere interpretations. WE all must put out the effort to research and form our own opinions in order to be more accountable in making better choices throughout our lives.

 

 

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