Most of your opinions are a waste of time. Every day we New Zealanders are blasted with new issues. Housing, breaching, the Australian Isis bride. Forming opinions and having your say on each fresh topic is hard work. It's time-consuming. That's why I try not to hold any views.
I don't get involved unless I have to. For example, I have no opinion on Oprah's two-hour interview with Harry and Meghan. That couple has a strange effect on people. Some become aggravated at their mere mention. They don't like Meghan, they worry about Harry, they think the whole thing is a vacuous money-making scam. Others think there is a right-wing plot against them. I don't care either way. I don't know them. They have no direct effect on my life. I'd rather spend that time and energy hanging with my kids.
Tsunami warnings are worthy of our attention. Oprah and royal gossip - not so much.
Like most things in life, the No Opinion Way is best explained using a test cricket analogy. Every day we get put into bat on a media green seamer. The latest issues jag all over the place and whizz around our ears. Smart batsman leave the balls they don't have to play. If it isn't on your stumps, let it go through to the keeper.
Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote in Meditations: "You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can't control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone."
Social media platforms make money by making you mad. The more time you spend reading and sharing opinions the more ad dollars for Mark Zuckerberg. Millions of people waste large chunks of their lives sharing opinions.
Some of these Facebook and Reddit posts are essay length. There are epic energy-sapping battles constantly raging in the comments section. Precious hours spent arguing with strangers to what end? No one has changed anyone's mind. Not even at r/changemymind.
How much more time and care would you have to focus on friends, whanau and career if the things that consume other people didn't matter to you?
It's hard to resist the urge to educate people. You feel like you should do your bit for society by combating these bad online ideas. Don't bother. That social media post doesn't represent your real community.
A 2019 Pew Research study found the users of Twitter do not match normal society. They also found 10 per cent of Twitter users were responsible for 80 per cent of all tweets. Why stress about the thoughts of the most opinionated people on the most opinionated platform in the world? Let them waste their lives. We don't have to.
Ryan Holiday, in his book The Daily Stoic, suggests the following exercise. "Think about all the upsetting things you don't know about … what's your reaction? You don't have one because you don't know about it."
He suggests practising having no thoughts on the next thing that comes up. Act like you had no idea it occurred. That's the choice you always have. Choose not to engage. Having an opinion is likely to aggravate you and suck up your time. Spend your brainpower wisely.
You could start your No Opinion Way journey by not having an opinion on what Donald Trump is planning to do post-election. How about not holding a view on how Brexit is working out? I loved not caring about the Golden Globes. Not having an opinion buys you precious mental space to use in your real life. It's a gift.
Time will render most opinions meaningless anyway. Remember the 2014 elections when the Internet Party organised "The Moment of Truth" event in Auckland to release information related to New Zealand's involvement in the Five Eyes network? I bet you're glad you didn't waste any of your time and energy on that one.
Every time something arrives in your mind, pause and ask yourself is this really worth my time? DO I really care?
Ironically, this has been an opinion piece espousing the opinion that you don't need to hold an opinion. Surely not writing this article would have given my No Opinion opinion more credibility. I should have shouldered arms and let this one fly through to the keeper.