Coat-tailers: People who wouldn’t voice their opinions unless or until they know that they are a. part of the majority, and b. only repeating someone else’s words.
They are quiet. They are never the whistle blowers. Oh no, no, never.
One day they find an article that they can “share.”
Now they’re one of the cool people who are behind so strongly of whatever is trending right now. Death Penalty for Rob Fawcett!! Boycott Olympics in anti-gay countries!!
They always always “share” these articles without adding their own comment.
Here is a test to see if they’re coat-tailers.
1. Force them to comment by asking point-blank for their opinions. They will only return some neutral BS or repeat or paraphrase what’s already in the article.
2. See if they’ve done anything at all other than clicking their mouse twice so someone else’s words appear on their feed. I mean anything else that they can’t get away by saying “I shared it because I thought people might be interested – not because I believe in it.
I can see the attraction of it. In our society, we are immediately intimidated and put off by those that stick out, regardless how right they may be. And, in our society, “popularity” is glorified and ranks higher than “integrity.” It does. Anyone who says it doesn’t is lying to themselves.
So why do I despise them? What harm are they doing?
By definition of trend watching, they only swim with the current. They create an illusion that the current is bigger than it really is because they would share and sign online petitions that they wouldn’t have got up off the couch for if it were a real ballot. But once the trend slows down, they would have already moved on to the next fad.
Save the whales!! (while attending the local aquarium) Eat local!! (while online shopping for clothes) Save the African children!! (while not volunteering a day in their own communities)
Don’t be a coattailer.