The thing about being famous is that people start to take anything and everything you say as the truth, even if what you say is obviously wrong. But because it came from you, people start to justify it as being true. I mean, you can’t be wrong right? After all, you have half a million likes on your Facebook page.
Suddenly, the message becomes secondary to the messenger. The person becomes more important than the content. You can say that your cat ride a unicorn on the rainbow, and someone will believe you. You can just tweet what you had for lunch and thousands of people will retweet you.
This is the difficulty of having fans. Though I am not against having fans or being a fan, but I fear the mindset that fans might hold about the person they admire. Fans are infatuated with the individual they admire, so much so that they can’t seem to see anything wrong with the person.
Anything the person does is seen as worthy of attention and admiration. The person could be doing drugs and you’ll see a group of his fans defending him. The person could be just posting a picture of his lunch and thousands of people like the picture. The person could fart and many would think it’s the best perfume out there (okay, maybe that’s too much).
The famous people, AKA the public figures, need critics more than they need fans because critics keep them grounded and cautious, while fans keep them in the clouds and careless. They become too full of themselves until they lose touch of their main purpose – if they set out having a noble purpose in the first place.
The responsibility of the public figure is to be cautious about what he say, making sure that whatever that comes out of their mouth or whatever they put online is carefully researched and it is based upon sound understanding – not hearsay or unverifiable information. If you don’t know something, don’t act like you do.
The responsibility of the fans is to escape from the trap of thinking that the person they admire is flawless and escape from the trap of thinking that it is inconceivable for that person to make a mistake or to give out the wrong information. No matter how religious or how authoritative someone looks, that doesn’t protect the person from making a mistake.
As much as you respect the person, respect the knowledge and the discipline more. Pay closer attention to what is being said, rather than be fascinated by who said it. Verify before you accept, no matter if the person who said it is your biggest crush in the whole wide world.
Take is as a general rule: verify before you accept, especially in this day and age where it seems like we are a bit more gullible. Honestly, do people actually believe that “one Facebook like saves one African kid” thing?
Exercise a little bit of skepticism and filter all information that goes into your head. Your head is precious, so be careful about the things that you allow to enter and to live in your head rent-free. You’ve seen the movie Inception right? So you know what I’m talking about.
You are in control of your head. You control what goes in and what goes out.
I’m not advocating for total skepticism. At the same time, I’m not advocating for blindly accepting things.
I’m advocating for self-education i.e. being smart enough to distinguish what is true, from what is not.