Ellie Rees Likes to Blog

Ellie Rees Likes to Blog

If you'd like to delve further into the caverns of my mind please feel free to check out my blog. Unfortunately I can't work out how to add a blog page to this website so I have to link through to my old website here. If anyone can help me with this I'd be really grateful!

All latest blog posts will be posted on here and then archived on the old site.


We're All Under the Influence and That's Okay

Last year’s The Traitors was iconic and addictive viewing, with hundreds of standout moments that made a nation gasp. For me, one of the moments that made me laugh the most was when Kieran was accusing Aaron of being a traitor and when challenged for simply following a popular theory, Kieran declared that “no one influences me.” I could forgive the bravado if he hadn’t spent all day listening to Wilfred suggesting that Amanda was a traitor and then voted her out.

I think the idea of influence has been more prevalent than ever in recent months. The strikes across the county, Harry and Meghan’s documentary and the cost-of-living crisis have all generated plenty of media coverage for us to dissect and thus form opinions.

For even the most critical of thinkers to declare that no one influences them, I have to call bullshit. While the media may be the most obvious example of shaping our ideologies, we are under the influence of others from the moment we wake up until we go to bed. Our schools, workplaces, family and friends all have an effect on how we think and view the world.

With more of us than ever possessing smart phones, we can access information every minute of the day and, in turn, we give a little of ourselves over to the tech giants, which results in targeted content that reflects and reinforces our views. If you follow me on social media, I’m constantly trying to convince people to buy my book (and by mentioning it here, I’m also trying to push it. The Arben Bridge is available on Amazon, by the way. In paperback and e-book. I promise I’ll stop now).

I think the most prevalent story that highlights how we can be influenced is Prince Harry and Meghan’s documentary and the former’s new book; snippets of which have been drip fed to the media in the run up to its release. Regardless of your opinion, the documentary highlights how traditional media, the royal family and social media users can make millions of people hold a particular view, whether that’s the intended one or the opposite.

Accepting that we’re all open to influence isn’t shameful; changing our opinions on something or looking at it from another viewpoint can be a good thing. How many times have you given to charity because the organisation has produced a powerful piece of media? And, yes, sometimes we may be so influenced by someone or something that we go against our own beliefs and cause harm, which is when persuasion becomes dangerous. I think by accepting that we all have this possibility within us, we can think more critically about what we’re being presented. We don’t have to accept what is given to us at face value; we know someone is trying to engineer our thinking and, perhaps, we agree with them but simply accepting what they propose can lead to difficulty.

When we’re in school we’re taught to discuss both sides of an argument to gain those precious exam marks but why is it that some of us lose this ability once we become fully fledged adults? Taking a moment to think and analyse is vital when we’re inundated with so many ideas but it’s equally as important to recognise when we’ve been misinformed and built an opinion upon those ideas. We’re creatures that love to learn and we should be allowed to do that without shame.