CLAY: We have open phone lines as we typically do on Friday. We’re gonna have some fun with that certainly in the third hour, but I’ll take a couple of your calls here right now. I believe we have Steven in Allentown, Pennsylvania. You had a question for me about the overall impact of social media. We started the show also talking about the latest drama surrounding the Elon Musk’s potential purchase of Twitter. What have you got for me, Steven? Appreciate you calling in.
CALLER: I have a question for you. I’m a little bit older than you are, but I have nephews, and I’m just curious. As far as the social media goes, how would you rate people making, like, important life decisions based on opinions they receive off social media?
CLAY: Thanks for the call. I understand there’s a generational divide in some ways on social media, and a lot of times I think younger people who are listening to us right now are probably thinking to themselves, “I don’t know why I ever paid as much attention or do pay as much attention to what’s going on on Instagram, to what’s going on on Twitter, to what’s going on on Facebook.” I think a huge percentage of people make decisions based on social media, and I think it’s not a surprise that we constantly see whatever the new trendy topic is, surging and becoming a major issue.
For instance, early days of covid putting yourself in a covid mask was the king of virtue signaling. That was the thing that you could do to prove how seriously you were taking covid compared to everybody else. What happened just a couple of months ago? Everybody started bumping out the masks and replacing it with the Ukranian flag. Initially, I was of the opinion that we were going to have a robust and uninhibited massive marketplace of ideas thanks to social media.
And in the early days we kind of did. Unfortunately, what has ended up happening is social media has become a proxy for one mob after another to trend and become wildly popular without any real substance behind it. So, lookthere may be people out there now who are listening, who are teenagers listening on the podcast. I would say spend less time worried about what people are saying on social media.
My advice in general is: Why should you care one iota what someone you don’t know thinks of you? I mean, I care, really, about the opinions of four people in my life: My wife and my three kids.
They’re in my house all day. I’m responsible for helping to make sure that they grow up as kids and also that I provide for them, and so I care deeply what they think. But if you don’t live in my house, my care for what you think of me declines precipitously.
I think if everybody did that, it becomes a lot better country because you’re all standing on your individual selves as opposed to worrying about what people you never know are thinking about you on a day-to-day basis. Of course, that doesn’t directly impact being able to say what you think every single day, which we do here.