The social and economic world struggles daily with the inundation of opinion.
But what is opinion worth if it costs nothing to produce?
Ages ago, when “letters to the editor” were the only way to share your opinion with the world at large, such offerings had worth. It costs something to write a letter, type or print it out, apply postage and walk it to the mailbox.
Today, your opinion, your likes or hates, your thumbs up and down, your LOLs or TLDRs or random STAR clicks have zero value. No, I misstate that. They have less than zero value. These days, gobs of reviews, a million claps, and a thousand smiley faces have negative value — negative because they cannot be trusted.
When information no longer contains truth it become propaganda.
How much effort does it take to click a button? Or write a computer script that clicks them for you? What cost to you is that half-second of time? This devaluation of our opinions is at the heart of why social media sucks these days. But how to reverse this trend?
To me the answer is simple: if you value your opinion enough to share it with the world then it should cost you something to publicize it.
- Want to leave a product review on Amazon or Target or whatever ecommerce site? Then you MUST have purchased that product. Purchased and NOT returned it (returns should be shown as a separate category).
- You want to “like” that post? It will cost you a penny.
- You want to write a comment? Then cough up a nickel.
- You REALLY like that post by your favorite author? Then donate a quarter or a dollar directly to them. (See: The Content Economy)
Your opinion may have value, but only if you spend the time, effort and considered reflection to imbue it with honest, heartfelt truth.