Have you noticed that since the arrival of Social Media, everyone is an expert on everything? What kind of question is that? Of course you have. I mean, you have seen that many instantly became experts on pandemics and knew everything about COVID-19 and that, in spite of scientists and doctors admitting themselves that they knew very little about it. Then, they knew everything on mass shootings and guns, supporting Justin Trudeau in his ban although true experts warned loud and clear that it’s a smoke screen and that abiding gun owners in Canada are the most responsible of all. Now, everyone on Social Media is an expert on Policing. They know not only what their job entails and the dangers they go though, but they also know how to react in stressful, volatile and dangerous situations and that, without a single day of training. They’re so good… Experts, experts everywhere! NOT!
It’s no different in hockey. Do you really need proof? Okay, we will look at a few situations exposing the fake “know-it-alls” in hockey but first, here’s what science has to say about five predominant types of behaviours those self-proclaimed experts will often use, information borrowed from a website called powerofpositivity.com (so not MY words):
ARGUMENTATIVE: If someone is constantly trying to argue, there’s a high chance that this person is a know-it-all. To the know-it-all, everything is up for debate. And in every debate, they are always playing to win.
CONDESCENDING: Usually, a know-it-all is so sure of their own knowledge that they tend to be condescending to the people around them. After all, they perceive everyone else as lacking in knowledge. When engaging in a conversation with a know-it-all, you are likely to find yourself feeling like you’re being talked down to.
“WELL, ACTUALLY…”: Have you ever been having a conversation, and someone interjects in order to correct something you’ve said? “Well, actually…” is a favorite phrase of a know-it-all. It doesn’t matter what was said, or how little the detail. A know-it-all derives joy from being seen as the most educated, the most well-rounded, and the most intelligent.
SHIFTING GOAL POSTS: According to Pamela B. Paresky Ph.D., these types of people often have something closer to the “illusion of knowledge.” They aren’t aware that they don’t know something, which makes them think that they know … well … everything. So, when caught in being wrong, a know-it-all will often shift the goalposts of their argument. Shifting goalposts, or moving goal posts, is a logical fallacy in arguments.
INFLATED EGO: Of course, since a know-it-all is walking around with the illusion of knowledge, they have no idea about all the things they don’t really know. Thinking they know everything gives them an inflated sense of self-importance. In fact, their ego is huge. This quickly grows obvious when you start talking to them. A know-it-all may spend a majority of the time talking about himself (or herself) and personal accomplishments. And since we’re talking Social Media with usernames, it’s often not even true.
I bet you’ve recognised a few people you’re actually following on Social Media. I have. As a matter of fact, I’m ashamed to say that I have displayed some of those symptoms myself in the past. I will however promise that I will be working on fixing that though. The self-proclaimed expert, or know-it-all, will not admit of those actions and behaviours, and will continue with his/her argument.
For one, they’re never wrong, even when all evidence goes against their beliefs. They go so far all out on their original opinion (notice I didn’t say fact?) that they reach a point of no return. That’s when “saving face” becomes more important than being right. We saw an example of that just yesterday on Twitter. A “Senior writer” of some blogs did what many do, invent some crap and made it sound like the ultimate truth. This time, in his attempt to undermine TSN’s Craig Button‘s credibility (and raise his own), he got caught with his pants at his ankles, exposing for everyone to see how little his “argument” was (let’s call it that or pretend that he drives a Corvette?). To his credit though, he did admit his wrong on a later tweet, which is more than many of them do.
We have a few more examples on this very blog. Remember the trade involving P.K. Subban and Shea Weber? We caught some dandy fakes with this one and those pretending to know everything about players’ value were up in arms about it. Those were fake experts on trades folks, exposing themselves. While the Subbanistas are getting fewer and fewer in between, they are still existent and when it’s not about Subban, they’ll react the same way about something else. Mark my words.
As Habs’ fans, we don’t have to look far to see other blatant examples of people who should spend more time learning than yapping. Or at least, they should take a few moments to think before they react. Remember when I compiled a bunch of reactions of “fans” when the Canadiens selected Jesperi Kotkaniemi third overall at the 2018 NHL Draft? Talk about over the top! There were even some Social Media experts whom I’ve quoted bashing the organisation when Marc Bergevin acquired Max Domi one for one for Alex Galchenyuk.
Another way to recognise fake experts is the lack of logic in their argument. Let’s take the above-mentioned Weber trade as an example. Here’s the argument they use:
Associating team success to justify the impact of an individual on a team is the most far fetched excuse out there. Those who truly know hockey know that this is a cope-out. They know that hockey isn’t that simple. All a single hockey player can do is to be at the top of his game and perform to his abilities. The rest of his team’s success depends on every other individual on the team to do the same, and for the coaching staff to make the right decisions. I know that. You know that. A fake doesn’t know that, or will minimize it in order to fit their narrative.
Further on such topics, they don’t let go. They refuse to address the topic, or move the goal post (team vs individual). Why is that I wonder? You know it. I know it. Sometimes, I even think that they know why too… By the way, I don’t know the individual mentioned above. He could be a very nice person and he likely doesn’t fit all criteria of a fake expert. I’m simply pointing out the example for the sake of our discussion and the topic of this article. It’s the behaviour that I’m denouncing, not the individual, let’s get that clear.
If you dare exposing the fake experts, they will then accuse you of being revengeful or thinking you never make mistakes. The truth? It’s FALSE. It is done for the sake of accountability, something that’s lost in this society in a world where people hide behind phones and screens, often with an alias as a username, not to be recognised on the street. But why take the time to expose them after the fact? It is for the sake of accountability and to show how over the top these people are.
What’s the difference between doing that and stating an opinion? Easy. It’s one thing to claim that one doesn’t like a trade, a pick or any other situations and explain why. That’s an opinion and it’s presented as such. But the over the top reactions are what I’m targeting here. Their opinions are presented as a no brainer facts when really, it’s far from it. By the way, there’s also a way to detect fake hockey insiders too, and I encourage you to read on them too. You’ll recognise a few on your timeline, I’m sure. Fake, fake, fake.
In the meantime folks, let’s enjoy our summer with loved ones as soon enough, Social Media will once again be inundated with fake experts on hockey… but you’ll know who they are. In Montreal or around the Canadiens, they often refer themselves to the most knowledgeable fans in hockey. Self-proclaimed, of course, just ask them and they’ll tell you. Remember though that learning something new is much better than pretending to already know it. Go Habs Go!