As I mull through a few of the links to particular news stories off of Google and Facebook, thoughts and opinions flood my mind based on what I'm reading and seeing. Aggravation, agreement, confusion, and varied degrees of surprise are a few of the usual responses to the material, and internal monologues about how I feel in regards to the content run amok.
Opinion rants in the safety of one's mind area typical thing to engage in, but as I found myself unfolding some of my own, a sense of futility kicked in: what was I going to do with these thoughts? Whether or not opinion-oriented thoughts will go anywhere constructive isn't something that immediately strikes you when you're in the midst of crafting them. Regardless, there is often a large amount of energy poured into things which are not expanded upon, potentially leading to a lot of time lost.
This isn't to say that forming opinions about things that you aren't directly involved in is a waste of time, though there are more instances where it is indeed time ill spent. There is an ever-expanding sea of tweets centered around celebrity commentary to back me up on that. Still, it is that very behavior that allows someone to, for example, become engaged in a good book.
The events that unfold within the story leave impression after impression on the reader, which in turn affects how they think of and feel about them and the story as a whole. A relationship is born between an inanimate object and a thinking, conscious person over events that may have never happened, and it's amazing to think that this happens because of what the book wants you to think about.
This formula is far from exclusive to books. Observe the adage "all publicity is good publicity." It suggests that in the case of information that someone wishes to be widely known, discussion about in either a positive or negative light will be deemed acceptable by the distributor. This media strategy is built upon the fact that it that the quality of something isn't what it takes to make it popular. All you really need to do that are the opinions generated by it.
Though it can be discreet at times, the power of opinion is actually staggering. It's what gives birth to policy and belief systems. After all, this country was founded not only to address the physical needs of the European immigrants, but rather primarily to obtain the ability to worship, say, and think what it is that they truly believe in. It was the incentive to let their words and desires be known openly, without shame or fear, that drove a national identity.
This capacity that opinions have is what makes it somewhat a shame to see what many people, including myself, pour our time into things into seemingly inconsequential topics. If you allowed me, I could host a whole seminar on my thoughts about the Dragon Ball series. A beneficial tactic to deal with this inevitable case of opinion-entropy is to treat each subject you're opinionated about as a chance to shape opinions properly; develop an idea that has a sound basis, is as easy to communicate as possible, and that will help you understand yourself as a consequence.