Internet & The Art of Self Authority


You know when someone is giving their opinion on a subject and you go, “well, who made you the ‘be all, end all’ on this subject?”. Guess what? Most of the time, the answer is that they self-authorized. Yep, folks. They decided they were experienced and brilliant enough to be an authority. So they were.

In the pre-digitized era (when was that exactly? @_@), someone usually ‘authorized’ your knowledge or expertise with a degree, a medal of honor, a knighthood or a crown. Today, however, due to social media, it’s become very easy to self-authorize yourself as an authority on just about anything. All you need is a good copywrite, some pictures (with basic Photoshop knowledge or heck, even Instagram) and you can be anything you want. No exaggeration.

Now there is a major plus in this. You can, with enough work, rise the ranks without the prejudice of people higher up. This can prove to be a buffer to exponential growth. Case in point: Tim Ferris. Whether his ideas work or not, he doesn’t need a degree to back himself up. The guy is ready to die for his experiments!

But there is a HUGE flip side. More than ever, experts are illusionists. They’re all smoke and mirrors. I can just see credibility becoming a huge problem in the future because of a few con men who pretend they can.

Luckily for those of us who want a save, all we have to do is talk (or chat) before investing or purchasing. A little googling can also go a long way. Just don’t buy a drug or a service on the gloss of a well put together website or personality. Trust me. I’ve learnt through innumerable bad investments. I’ve bought products that are just not feasible (except with good advertising). I’ve had half-hearted, 10-minute ‘free’ manicures to realize that I paid a bomb for a service that should cost about half. I’ve eaten health pills that were probably nothing more than placebos for prices that would pay for my entire month’s groceries.

So, awesome readers, it looks like discernment is going to be a legitimate skill in the future. Time to whip out the magnifying glass, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle style!


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