We need to stop groupthink.
Groupthink – get off the bandwagon. Over the last few months, I have become aware of a few verbal attacks on young female influencers by a male (surprise surprise) and it makes me so cross that I could barely compose myself. One of the attacks seemed to be around how inauthentic a picture was and how damaging it is to a young girl’s mental health. My sigh was huge; I’ve tried several times to write about how Instagram is not linked to young girl’s mental health, but because there is no evidence the newspapers won’t listen, even though the evidence proving there is a link is sketchy to say to least. But I think it’s more to do with the fact that my narrative doesn’t fit with what society wants to think, so no one is even listening.
BUT SERIOUSLY, THERE ARE A FEW THINGS WE REALLY TO NEED TO UNDERSTAND.
1. Instagram is a platform for art and photography, not another Facebook, it’s not supposed to be real and while the adult or middle-aged men with nothing better to do might not get that, guess what? The kids totally do. Photos are staged – they’re meant to be – no one in their right mind would think Instagram was supposed to imitate real life, unless of course they just wanted to have a go at young girls carving out careers for themselves.
2. If we think Instagram is responsible for damaging young girl’s health, we really are not asking deep enough questions at all. For me, it’s just a way for us as a society to shift the blame from ourselves onto something that can’t answer back, to let us off the hook.
3. Do we think that the way to improve young girl’s mental health is by shaming girls for their Instagram posts, being vicious towards them on Instagram and sending them death threats? Is shaming a young girl by saying that she is damaging young girls not harmful in itself? I’ve got news for you; most young girls are messed up by the patriarchal system, not young girls posing in their bedroom.
4. And the most important thing, I honestly believe that Groupthink is going to wipe us out and what happened here is a perfect example. Since when did we just blindly believe what some nobody says without even questioning whether they might be right or in fact a total loser, with a grudge against women who are making it without men?
Anyway, enough male-bashing, I’m sure they think they have a point.
BUT SERIOUSLY THE GROUPTHINK BIAS IS ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS THINGS AND I AM DETERMINED TO MAKE US THINK ABOUT IT DIFFERENTLY.
So what is groupthink, other than the downfall of the human race?
According to Wikipedia…
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome.
I think this definition describes it much better.
Groupthink – This mental occurrence arises when a group of people seeking conformity think and act in similar fashion to each other. Typically the group will reach a consensus opinion without proper evaluation and with a lack of alternative viewpoints.“Groupthink requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking.”
To me, it’s the bandwagon bias; it’s when everyone jumps on board with a common belief or way of thinking without even thinking if it’s true, right, or even worthy of consideration. It drives me mad. So we call out Influencers on damaging young girl’s health, not because it’s true but because the groupthink bias is well at play. It’s a little like how everyone used to believe the world was flat.
And whether you like what I am saying or not, I’m happy being the one person saying that the earth is round because guess what? It is.
So please, before you jump on the bandwagon and go on yet another hate campaign against an Instagram influencer, think!
- Where is the evidence for this?
- Is it true for everyone?
- Do I know this to be true?
- Is there counter-evidence?
- Am I just jumping on the bandwagon?
- What am I really cross about here?
Yes, the ex-police officer in me comes out all the time.
I mean seriously, do you know how much energy you waste being cross about things that really don’t matter. Instead of streaming hate at a girl who is actually putting a positive message out on Instagram, why don’t you actually do something about the young girls that you believe need saving from the clutches of a beautifully-styled breakfast shot?
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