Megaphones

It’s rare in this age for people who have a limited understanding of a given topic to not weigh-in on topics of grave importance.

Bite-size news, tweets, and politically-driven memes are partially to-blame, but I think it is far more likely that in finding a level of digital anonymity, people are less afraid to let their ignorance fly. In the last three months, the number of angry tweets, internationally-broadcast interviews, and scathing blog-posts surrounding initiatives and projects as complex as Healthcare.gov have shot through the roof.

When you read the criticisms, you would think that the authors had spent the last 10 years in the industry, led several product launches, and wrote half of the underlying code by themselves when that clearly isn’t the case.

When tackling a project or product of the size and scope of something so sorely-needed as a primary healthcare insurance exchange website, it’s easy to get side-tracked and upset at the lack of visible progress being made. When you’re a consumer of said service, it can be one thing to experience site outages or a complete lack of functionality. It’s something else entirely when you have no vested interest in the project or product, only the firm belief that it is somehow “all wrong” and should be given to the chopping-block at the first opportunity.

Everyone has the capacity to be an armchair politician, a project lead, philanthropist, philosopher, economist, or an internet tough-guy. Where the difference lies is whether or not your experience or your position grants you any merit. Whining, moaning, and pitching a fit over game-changing products or services, projects determined to be better than their predecessors, or technologies that make procedures and processes more accessible to a lay-person is like shouting at the rain when you don’t understand the first thing about terrestrial water cycles. It’s pointless, insane, and adds nothing of value to the overarching discussion.

We all have a choice to be more aware, more informed, and more valuable in every moment we engage each other. To quote Bad Religion, “If it’s such a wealth of information, why are you so poor?”

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