Your opinion, please
There’s only one thing that no one can give you or take away from you: your opinion.
What you think in your mind and feel in your heart is uniquely and always yours. Your opinion might change from time to time, even from minute to minute. But at any point it’s still yours. And that’s something we should cherish.
Sometimes, however, we can feel we are being bombarded with opportunities to express our opinions, especially in a commercial or political context.
We shop in a retail store and the receipt invites us to go online to say how we feel about the salesperson. We order a product from Amazon and are asked to rate it or submit a comment.
Especially during campaign seasons, we walk down the street and are asked to sign a petition or “answer a few questions” to help a pollster. We take a survey somewhere and find ourselves inundated with invitations to take more or join a focus group.
Yes, sometimes it seems overdone. Sometimes, in both business and political contexts, we might feel the requests are disingenuous. (“They don’t really care how I feel,” we might think. “They just want to use my opinion, if they like it, to influence others.”)
That could be true. But in most cases, I believe, businesses and political candidates really want to know what you think. A business can’t survive if it isn’t meeting the needs of its customers. A candidate or politician who wants to represent voters well needs to know what they think.
So try not to feel too jaded when asked for your opinion. Only you know what you think — until you are asked to express it. And that is when your opinion starts to make a difference elsewhere.
You oughta be in pictures
Speaking of surveys…
Here at the Beacon, we also frequently seek information from our readers regarding your views about our newspaper in general, as well as about particular articles, authors and events we sponsor, such as our upcoming 50+Expos and last year’s Celebration of the Arts.
We recently signed up for a new service that will allow you to respond to such survey questions via video. That way, we can both see and hear you sharing your opinion.
The idea for this service, called Talk Back Time, comes from a local senior with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working before, Allan Horlick. For a story about him and this new venture, see our Technology & Innovations section in this issue.
For now, we are eager to try it out. Will you help us?
If so, using a smartphone, tablet or a computer enabled with a camera (for Skype, for example) go to bit.ly/proudest, and after answering one question, you can tell us via video what you are most proud of in your life. You’ll have up to 30 seconds for your video.
Or if you prefer, you can share with us what you think about the Beacon, this column, or any other topic of the day that interests you.
We appreciate your reading the Beacon, and look forward to hearing — and seeing — what you have to say!