I’ve developed a disdain for anyone using the term “guru” or “expert” to identify anyone they deem knowledgeable on a subject. Why? Because somehow, in the last five years, it’s become a faux-pas to be confident in your knowledge base. The early social media goers who were throwing around the word like a smear of J on their PB abused it. Wrecked it. Made the rest of us all suspicious (serious generalization, I’d like to think I’m not alone here, but then again, it could just be me) of anyone who might possibly think they know what they’re talking about.
WTF social media goers? Why’d you have to go and be that way? Now I question everyone and everything. And eff, it’s exhausting sometimes. Here you are, making me skeptical of everyone and checking out their credibility for myself before I believe a word they’re saying. Seriously, what gives?
It’s not even as though this stops in the online realm. The minute anyone uses the “e” word, I get that look on my face. Haven’t seen it yet? Just refer to yourself as the “e” word in my presence and keep your eyes locked on my facial expression. You’ll see it.
You’ve created a monster. An inquisitive, questioning, not-as-trusting-as-I-once-was monster. It’s like, I won’t trust anyone’s knowledge any more until I’ve done the background check and appropriate research to figure out if I think said person actually knows what they’re talking about. And in a world where everyone can be a publisher, it’s more time-consuming than ever. Double checking your facts because I’m not sure you’re telling the truth to begin with… how dare you challenge my once naive trust like that.
Thank goodness there’s this thing called the internet that I can at least use for my due diligence. If you’re talking social media talk and calling yourself a guru, I can creep your Twitter profile, your Facebook page and other realms of yours in order to make up my own mind. I can find out when you’re speaking next (or if you’re speaking at all) and suss out your skeezy used car salesman vibe vs. your genuine will to help people. And if you’re claiming expertise in an area I know nothing about, and you also happen to not have any kind of internet presence for me to verify what you’re talking about? Well, it’s more likely I’ll go look for your colleague who has spent the time to ensure I can at least find a bit of information about them.