My favorite social media platform - bar none - is Instagram.

I love it. 

I love how beautifully curated the photos and videos are. 

I love how (even though some studies point to the negative aspects of this phenomenon), it's the best-of-the-best of people's lives all wrapped up into a single platform.

With Instagram Stories taking hold (400 million daily users) and the recent launch of IGTV, I got to thinking...


Why do we follow people on Instagram?

Why do we enjoy content from certain influencers and not others?

That's when I came across an article by The New Yorker titled, "Stephen A. Smith Won't Stop Talking."

If I had to summarize Stephen A. Smith into one word I'd say "opinionated." Sports personality Max Kellerman describes Smith as a hedgehog saying, "he just expresses his point of view—and he truly does not care what you think."

All that to say he's a love-him or hate-him him kind of guy. 

So why does ESPN pay him $3 million (or more) per year? And why do millions of people crowd around their televisions and phones each day to watch Smith pontificate? 

Because he has enough of an opinion and personality that we care what he has to say.

Here's how smith so elegantly describes it:

"You watch to just hear perspectives. Back in the day, you watched to learn the news. Now you can get the news in five minutes. So you’re interested in watching different perspectives, hearing what people have to say, what their opinions are, and why. And sort of gauging whether or not they’re right or wrong. People think they know. They’re not interested in learning. They’re interested in hearing whether or not your perspective is aligned with theirs. If so, why, and if not, why not? That used to be just sports. Now it’s everywhere."

It's the same reason why you follow certain people on social media or why you have a favorite TV personality. You want to hear their perspective and you're interested in whether or not it aligns with yours.

The lesson from all of this? In today's day and age, it pays to have an opinion.

Until next Friday, Thinkers.

- Brian

P.S. Live life with presence this weekend
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