New Delhi: This weekend when you are relatively free from life’s mundane duties, ask yourself this: Are you the one who loves to post motivational posts taken from New Age gurus to the ancient scriptures on Facebook and Twitter? Did it ever occur to you that posting such profound thoughts may mean that you yourself need to fix your otherwise stressed life? Or are you a genuine change agent seeking to transform people’s lives for the better?
Although some of the nation’s leading behavioural experts slightly differ on this, one thing is clear: For some people, in their quest for bringing clarity and optimism in their own lives, they may be sharing “profound” thoughts with others on various social media platforms.
According to Dr. Samir Parikh, director (mental health and behavioral sciences) at Fortis Hospitals in the capital, people typically share posts based on their likes and personalities.
“This, however, cannot be generally applied to all the people. The fact is that people post things based on their personalities, their social groups, their interests and likes and dislikes so any more meaning to a post should be best avoided,” Parikh told IANS.
However, Piya Mukherjee, director at VES Leadership Academy and Research Centre (VESLARC) in Mumbai, such people may or may not have driven by unhappiness in their own lives but they have walked the path of pain and developed a keen sense of compassion for their wider circle of friends on social media.
“Apart from the masses, there is another smaller group of people who share such posts – the catalysts or the change agents who genuinely see such posts as capable of inspiring others towards transformation,” noted Mukherjee, also a corporate coach.
Such people are usually healers, teachers and counsellors by nature, irrespective of the official designation of the work they do. “Their role is to bring in some mind-food into the lives of their friends and they do this with a genuine intention,” Mukherjee told IANS.
A study last December created quite a stir as it claimed that people who post inspirational and motivational quotes on various social media like Facebook and Twitter are actually “dumb” and “have lower levels of intelligence”.
In the study titled “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bulls***t” that took examples of some of the inspirational quotes from New Age guru Deepak Chopra, psychologists from the University of Waterloo in Canada examined whether some people are more receptive to some silly inspirational statements than others.
The findings that appeared in the journal Judgment and Decision Making showed that there is a definite link between low intelligence and being impressed by what looks like “profound statements”.
“I do not agree with these findings. Posts on inspiration may be a reflection of a person’s mindset, temperament, insight or the situation that the person may be in. A person may choose to just share posts with his friends because it inspires him personally or provides him with strength,” elaborated Dr. Sameer Malhotra (director, mental health and behavioural sciences) at Max Hospitals.
“It is not merely about intelligence but also about suggestibility, personality and support systems around you that shape your attitudes, belief and thinking patterns,” Parikh added.