Influence is a word that increasingly features in our daily vocabulary; so much so that we now have people who go by the title of Influencers. Impacting the behaviour or thought process of others is a concept the vast majority of us could relate with since we were kids. Our parents warned us about peer pressure and how it could derail us from the straight and narrow path. At school, we were admonished not to join band gangs to ensure we weren’t tempted to engage in untoward activities such as drugs and heavy drinking. All our lives, we have been lectured on the potential danger inherent in influence.
I find the bandwagonism that pervades the virtual space annoying. It only takes one influential social media personality to say something and their horde of followers are quick to lap it up. The dearth of independent thinking—the ability to analyse an issue dispassionately—and put forward a personal opinion is a reality of these times. Whether it pertains to more serious issues like police brutality, ethnic or racial profiling, gender discrimination, or matters of less importance such as the debate regarding who’s the greater legend between Michael Jackson and Beyonce, people are often inclined to pitch their tent where the greater population leans. But things have begun to change.