I Don’t Follow the Herd Mentality, Do You?
by Joanne Troppello
With millions of users on social media today, the herd mentality has been given more of a spotlight than decades before the internet was created. The herd mentality—also known as mob rule or running with the pack—is a mindset that shows how people can be easily manipulated or swayed by their contemporaries.
People who have aligned themselves with the pack are more susceptible to making choices based on that herd mentality. They have chosen to follow the pack rather than think for themselves.
Why I Don’t Follow the Herd Mentality
I don’t follow the herd mentality. I’ve always been an outside the box type of thinker. I am someone who sees the gray areas. This has sometimes caused some discussions between my husband and I—who is more of a black and white thinker.
For example, I am usually not all in or all out. That doesn’t necessarily mean I am on the fence about all issues. Believe me, there are important issues and beliefs I have that I will not be dissuaded from believing like being Pro-Life and believing that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life…no one comes to the Father except through me and He is the only way to eternal life with God in Heaven. (John 14:6)
However, I am open to new ideas and hearing all sides of an issue. I totally understand—and have experienced—that you cannot deal with irrational people who don’t want to listen to logic and have civil conversations, both in person and online.
Yet, there are people on “the other side” that I know personally and have been able to speak to—on both political and non-political issues—without them turning into a raving lunatic.
I don’t believe that you need to hate someone simply because they disagree with you on any issue. That goes against all Biblical teaching, that I wholeheartedly agree with.
I am not perfect. No one is perfect. Only the triune God is perfect—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, as a Christian, I do believe that I am held to a higher standard and need to love others, even those I disagree with.
In Luke 6:27-32, we are told: “ 27"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
I don’t want to call anyone out and judge, but I am still amazed at times when I see people post on social media and their witness definitely does not align with their professed Christianity.
Sure, we are all a work in progress. Maybe they are a new Christian. They may have been saved for years. However, as Christians, we need to take great care in how we behave in person and online.
I have been saved for 31 years. I got saved at a young age and grew up in a Christian family. I was taught scripture from the first time attending Sunday School as a child.
Being on social media is still a struggle for me at times. I am usually on Twitter more than any of the other social media platforms because it has been a great source of free promotion for my magazine.
However, I have had to discipline myself to use time blocking to spend only certain amounts of time each day on the platform. Also, I have had to “bite my tongue” and not respond rashly to internet trolls who only want me to retaliate so they can report me and get my account suspended.
The mute and block features have been used a lot with my Twitter account.
Benefits of Separating Yourself from the Pack
I believe that there are benefits of separating yourself from the pack and not buying into the herd mentality. Sure, you can align yourself with a group or tribe. However, don’t blindly listen to everything that everyone in your tribe—or tribal leadership—says or does.
Consider the following benefits of separating from the pack:
I am a Republican. I have been registered for the last 15 years. I admit that I did not register to vote as soon as I was eligible. I never thought my vote would count. After getting married, my husband convinced me that I should register and I’m glad that I did.
During that time, I started watching Fox News. I never cared much about politics. My first Presidential election that I voted in was in 2008 when Obama was running. I voted for John McCain. He wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for as a Republican candidate, but the more I learned about Obama, the more I knew he would not be a good candidate for our country.
The same happened when Mitt Romney ran against Obama in 2012. I didn’t really like him 100%, but he was better than Obama. When President Trump ran, I voted for Ted Cruz in the primary. Trump was not my ideal Republican candidate. However, in the general election in 2016, I voted for Trump. I’ll vote for him again this year.
I learned how to “question with boldness” as Glenn always says and do my own homework. I know I am not getting fake news from their TV programs or online articles. I can trust that their researchers seek only the facts, no matter where they lead. Being a subscriber has taught me to learn all I can so I will become a better decisions maker. I have learned so much and have been able to escape the herd mentality.
When you separate yourself from the herd mentality and get educated on truth, you can make fact-based decisions. You can go to the voting booth on election day for both the primary and general elections knowing that you did your homework and are making the right political decision for your family’s future.
Breaking free from the pack means you are open to questioning things that happen even in your own political party—and voting accordingly. Of course, it’s likely that there is never going to be a political candidate that you agree with 100% of the time. However, when you think independently, you can make more informed decisions.
Independent thinking and getting educated on the facts always lead to uncovering the truth. Of course, you must want to find the truth—even if it’s not what you want to hear.
For example, I voted for President Trump in the general election in 2016 and I will vote for him again in 2020. Although, I don’t agree with everything he says, does, or tweets, and all his policies. Sure, most of his policies I agree with. However, I’m a fiscal conservative too and want the government to be more responsible when they spend money with all their programs—and I want them to have pass less regulations.
Understanding the truth about political candidates you like and policies your representatives in Congress want to vote for into legislation will enable you to share your own newly gained knowledge with others who may be interested in leaving the herd.
Are you part of the herd mentality?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, SEO and social media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs. Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect on Twitter. Read more about Mustard Seed Sentinel here.