We don’t need influencers. We need a brain

by | Jan 27, 2019 | Lifestyle, What if:

Reading time: 6 minutes

I am Someone

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Someone. I like writing, a lot. I like thinking. I am interested in many subjects from tech to philosophy, from hydroponics to bee keeping, from IT to history. I am an expert at a few things, but I should not be telling you which. I am also not going to identify myself, and I’ll come back to the reason why in a second. But before that…I hate influencers. I hate the concept, the person, the activity, the purpose and this blip in history we are living right now, in which someone, anyone, decides to be a professional Famous with a life on display.

Don’t get me wrong, I do respect their work ethic. Spending 10-12 hours of your day trying to do something interesting must be taxing. Given that I dedicate a good portion of the day to research information, learn new things, keep abreast of the news and do a bit of work to pay the bills, I find that occupying the rest of my time taking selfies, doing food videos, catching my dog doing flips or surfing a wave with a camera on my hand must be an extremely tiresome, dull and sad life.

None of that though is why I won’t tell you who I am. The reason is because I want you to agree with me.

Whenever I post something you will find a set opinion, reasoned, meditated, researched and hopefully right. One that I want you to think over. In today’s daily oversupply of information, it’s difficult to take a breath and think. Thus we tend to align with a few people’s views and agree with them sight unseen. Tribal politics, TV channels, websites, scientists, religious personalities, pop artists, actresses, footballers, chefs or political commentators.

Clarkson, Corbyn, Maher, Cox, Pitt, Clooney, GaGa, Bieber, Jonas, Carlson, Uygur, Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders. Just names. They say things, and we agree. Just because.

I say no. I am going to do some thinking. I am going to give my opinion. I am going to reason it and back it up. But I am not going to do the thinking for you.

I do want you to agree with me. But only after pondering about it. And if I “influence” you, I dare you go to the pub and tell anyone this or that is this or that way because Someone said it. I double dare you m#@herf%&ker.

I am the Tech guy

I am the Tech Guy. No more no less. I know something about tech, obviously, but I won’t tell you what. I am very curious about everything.

True to the coder’s philosophy, I am here to trigger your inner scientist. That voice in your head that sometimes whispers sometimes screams and always questions your own thoughts the very moment you have them. It happened many times in our known history: we stumble upon an extraordinary invention or an amazing discovery and yet, we use it in the most inappropriate, silly application. From the radio signal to the atomic bomb, we had the chance to make the difference but instead we put our ego before the common good. So here we are today, glorifying the average, giving credit to the homologous opinions, and celebrating the fake, utopic and chimeric versions of ourselves with the only goal of producing endorphins.

I share the identical sentiment of hate of Someone when I look at social media. The reason? We are overlooking the most important thing about it: communication.

Scrolling back in time, the human race tried and failed many attempts to communicate between individuals and populations through a common language. We invented graffiti, hieroglyphs, hand-writing, cartoons, printed media, radio signal, cinema, and internet with only one purpose in mind: wider, faster and open communication.

To think, not to think. That’s the dilemma…

I realize that giving voice to every individual is scary. Looking below the surface of an ocean can be overwhelming, and hearing all the stupidity of humanity can be frustrating. We should get the relevant part of the information we are receiving.

Social media is a very powerful tool to understand languages and slangs (as a way to communicate), moods, feelings and a sense of belonging. That data, if read and combined properly, describes much more than a common love of cats or our collective hatred of Mondays. Yes, there is still a lot to filter from tweets and pictures but, as an intelligent being, we should be able to gather this information or, at the very least, create an algorithm that does that for us.

Marketing is the most known activity that we applied to social media. If you still think of it as a tool to increase sales, STOP! Look at the bigger picture. Your social media manager is the person in charge of guiding you through your communication strategy. The tone of voice, wording, brand association… Not the subject, not the post, not the ideal customer. What you say represents you and your values. And the sense of belonging that you share with your audience.

You don’t need to be influenced, you need to access true and reliable information to consider all the options, take the less risky path, make your own decisions. Influencers exist only if we stop having an opinion.

Having spent the last few years looking for bugs in software, I realized that people have bugs too, only we refer to them as cognitive bias. I want you to create some distance from your bugs, find them, isolate them and correct them. Stop believing and start questioning. You will learn that Facebook shows you only what it thinks you will like. Instagram will get you more like when you use less-known hashtags. YouTube will show video related only to videos you liked before. Google will hide certain results to reinforce your ego and avoid changing your mind as much as possible, so you will click that ‘Buy now’ button faster than before.

This is not what you are. You want to have a different point of view. Question your beliefs and build an argument with information. You are not repeating Someone’s point of view. And you will do that, not because it will bring you fewer likes, but because you feel happier knowing that you chose it yourself, rather than ‘allowing’ somebody – anybody – to choose it for you.

I am The Flash

In a world where we all move at the speed of the slowest, where the charger for a mobile changes with every model, where racism is confused with immigration, where a ginger hair Hitler is spending 700 billion USD in defense (from what?), there is still something exciting to do. I mean, it’s warmer every year, the white bears are dying, the rich are richer and the poor are poorer, Porsche only makes Turbo engines (apart from the GT3) and an Electric Kia looks cool (oh gosh). But, if you focus, you still find a lot of cool things to do.

I love racing, I like driving, I like downforce and a sequential gearbox, and I like 500kg. I am not an influencer, hell no. I’d rather be an educator. I’d rather tell the kids that pressing a clutch pedal is cool, that a mobile phone is not necessary at 12 years old, that racism is normal but you can control it. I teach my kids that a phone is a phone and a camera is a camera.

When I write, I am totally selfish. I write for myself. I tell you what I feel and I also expect you to feel the same. That is selfish. If I like something I see no reason why you shouldn’t like it too. That is selfish. But I love sharing the emotions I get from the toys I drive. I love telling you that 700bhp on a road car is a pathetic marketing exercise when you can drive a Lotus Elise and have quadruple the fun. We have lost the value of simplicity. Fun now comes from extremes only. What the hell is going on? Is that because of the “Big Influencers”?

I am The Flash. I am 47 years old. I am Italian. I have an MBA Education and I love food, golf and cars. I stitch my own leather bags and I am a child. I get influenced, like anyone else. But I hate myself when I realize I am judging someone by his/her “likes” or his/her “followers” on Instagram. In all honesty, when someone says he’s an “influencer”, I can’t help but start laughing (not smiling, laughing). It’s a hyena job, the one that takes advantage of a scrap of the population, one that cannot decide for itself. The ones that stay ignorant because ignorance is bliss, convenient, pre-cooked, “cool”, and popular. Those who have no friends to take a picture of them but are left with selfies only. Hashtags, people tags, location tags, “at the rate of”, “please like me”, “don’t forget to subscribe to my channel”. All crap to get a kick of your own ego.

One of the biggest influencers today? Donald Trump. A man who discredits Science at the advantage of Power. Science!!!! If that is the model, then I’d rather be a cloud that glitters of its own perfection for only a few seconds before disappearing. Is influencing part of a bigger project? A new religion? Another way of gathering people under the same ceiling? Is it a way of classifying the populations into classes, like hashtags, statistics? Religion has lost its appeal (thank God or whatever you call your imaginary friend), so lets put people into boxes, according to the influencers strategies. Good luck world. Nature is watching and preparing for a new glaciation. Nature doesn’t need people, let alone this kind of people.

We need education, free, smart, focused, specialised and general. We don’t need influencers. We need a brain.