Experienced versus experts – how often do you confuse the two on social media?
Many people confuse these (especially on social media where every second experienced person claims to be an expert) but there is a major difference between the two.
Experience simply means ‘what happened’. Things/situations we have faced or handled personally.
Expertise means having an in-depth knowledge or skill in a particular field/profession. (mostly gained by studying or specializing in that field/subject).
Let me start by sharing a personal example. By qualification, I am an English language teacher. I have done M.A Eng + B.Ed. During M.A, I had one paper ‘language and linguistics’ that helped me study phonics in detail. Having taught English as a subject in various schools/language institutes, I can say I have a good knowledge about phonics (may be a little more than others who haven’t heard about it) and even a bit of experience of how it’s taught (since I have worked closely with those trainers). But that doesn’t make me a certified phonics expert/teacher. I can’t claim to be one (because that’s a separate course) and no where am I eligible to teach or conduct phonic classes .
As I said, there is a difference between being experienced & being an ‘expert’. You can only be an expert in a particular field if you have a legit qualification for the same. It’s as simple as that.
Experienced versus Experts on Social Media
I see social media is full of self-proclaimed experts (basically educated people with basic knowledge of an xyz topic claiming to be experts of that field).
I see many bloggers conducting online sessions/webinars/trainings, etc on various topics (read trending topics) calling themselves as an ‘expert’ and even charging a participation fee for the same. If they are qualified to do so, good enough. But if not, then this could be wrong at so many levels.
It’s just like saying – ‘hey, I have suffered through depression. I know all about mental health. And now I can conduct sessions and tell people how to handle depression.’ I am sorry! You can’t and you shouldn’t. You can share your experience but you can’t provide guidance. Only a healthcare professional qualified and expert in that field can.
You can only conduct professional sessions/or charge fees if you are qualified in that field. If you have a personal experience in a particular area, it’s good to talk about it and share with others. But donot do that in the capacity of an ‘expert’ (& no where charge for it) . Share it as a personal experience & let people decide if they could relate with it or not.
As a mom blogger myself, I share my personal experiences of raising twin kids. I talk about tips/tricks that work for me and help me in my parenting. But no where I claim to be a ‘parenting expert’ or a ‘parenting coach’ or someone who can advice others in similar situations. All I do is share my personal everyday experiences and let my readers decide if they find them helpful.
As a reader, always do your check. Be a wise reader/consumer! (Remember, Jaago Grahak Jaago! ). Read everyone’s experiences, relate with them but do not just follow any advice/tip you read on social media. Especially before paying for an expert session, donot hesitate to ask the person to share a proof of his/her qualification.
Did you like this post – Experienced versus Experts on social media ? Do share your views in the comments below.
To know more about me follow me on