My Mother Always Said, 'If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, Don’t Say Anything At All'

My Mother Always Said, 'If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, Don’t Say Anything At All'

The world has enough problems without people being mean to each other on Facebook.
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My mother raised me on the perhaps very cliché, yet absolutely true virtue: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

I can admit, firsthand, that this is no simple feat. People will say things you absolutely do not agree with, they may say something rude to you, do something you don’t like, act a certain way, the list goes on.

And it’s fucking hard to bite your tongue when you really really want to tell someone they’re wrong, stupid, rude, an asshole, etc, etc… I’ve been there. I’ve had my fair share of saying shitty things to people.

Regardless, sure, sometimes you want to be a dick, and maybe sometimes it’s deserved. I’m sorry to say though, 99% of the time, you have no fucking right to tell someone off. If someone is being harmful to you, that’s a whole different story. Telling someone off for their opinion? Or something they can’t control? Trashing them because of an affiliation, an identity? Maybe just because you hate them? Stop right there and check your ego.

The fact of the matter is, if you think you have the authority to tell someone they’re wrong without probable cause, you need to keep your opinion to yourself.

It’s like, why do people ALWAYS have to find something to shit on?? Like, I am so over it.

Last week I wrote an article about stereotypes knowing that a discussion of stereotypes is a sensitive topic. After, I kid you not, HOURS of pouring over every detail and having it read by countless people JUST to make sure the moral of this article—“ALL stereotypes are offensive, perhaps some more than others, but ultimately no stereotypes are good. So just stay away from any and all”—was clear, I finally submitted it.

I was harassed by girls just like me for failing to mention certain stereotypes, for speaking from experience, for stating an opinion in an article. A 500-word article. I received essays about how ignorant I am, comments making fun of me. It wasn’t even controversial—do we not all agree stereotypes are harmful? No stereotype is harmless, I’m stating a fact, not belittling your experience, I don’t know your struggle. Furthermore, I’m advocating on each and everyone’s behalf for the elimination of ALL stereotypes.

So who are you to act all “better-than-thou” and pollute my inbox, my notifications, with hate?

Who are you, with your incorrect grammar and distasteful use of language, to make me feel bad about myself?

Who are you to tell me I’m wrong when I’ve barely even made an argument?

Who are you to make me feel like a piece of shit when I’ve written something in favor of EVERYONE?

Fuck off.

In this day and age, it’s hard to escape the constant influx of negativity. My facebook feed is poisoned by fights in the form of comment wars, hurtful or pointed memes, and angry statuses. I mean FOR THE LOVE OF GOD people, can everyone take a breather? It’s exhausting.

Maybe I don’t agree with your post about this or that. Maybe I don’t agree with you posting this image or that image. Am I going to leave hateful, hurtful messages in your inbox? Am I going to comment on your post in a belittling tone? Am I going to confront you to bash you in person? Absolutely not. You wanna know why? My mother raised me better than that.

So stop your whining. You will never be in agreement with everyone. One of the hardest thing in life is to argue someone out of an opinion they hold. So rather than waste your time and energy on fighting with strangers, why don’t we just ignore it? You have every right to block someone. You are absolutely capable of not commenting on something. You are, in fact, able to de-friend someone so you don’t have to see or hear what they think. DISENGAGE.

And, if you really must say something, I think we all are more than capable of having a mature, non-confrontational conversation about differing views. There is no need to be on the offensive and attack. The world has enough problems without people fighting over opinion on Facebook.
Cover Image Credit: Vasilios Muselimis|Unsplash

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.

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College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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Social Media Can Bridge The Gap Of Communication Between The Two Genders

We have small devices hidden in the back pockets of our jeans that give us access to billions of users across the Internet, and all it takes is one post to spark a revolution.

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You spend time at least once a week going through your social feed. You even spend time once a day going through your social feed.

There is a power in the words you speak and post online, and these very words can impact others' lives, negatively or positively. As an example, according to the Huffington Post, women are met with being "…ignored, trivialized, or criticized by men…" online mainly because the rift between the two genders prevents proper communication.

Gender equality can be achieved by online engagement, or posting. In some cases, though, the opposite can be true. I personally love Instagram and will occasionally find myself scrolling through posts recommended by the platform itself simply so I can waste time and complain about that later. A few weeks ago, I happened to be relapsing into my Instagram addiction and found myself particularly drawn to a certain post by Rowan Blanchard, which had a caption reading that "Cis men are violent and dangerous and until numbers prove [her] wrong [she] won't be able to not make statements that can't be read as vague."

Now, MSNBC identifies activism today as "…easier than ever…" thanks to social media, with "…[facilitated] public dialogues and… a platform for awareness…," but the caption of Blanchard's post shown is not activism at its finest. In a brief synopsis, activist Rowan Blanchard, who you may know from the show "Girl Meets World," addresses her distaste for men, going so far as to generalizing them as dangerous. In my opinion, this is one step backward in the fight for equality rather than a step forward.

Men and women alike have our differences that we consistently brush over in angry online comments but never truly sit down and discuss. The presence of a civil conversation between members of opposing sides of the gender argument is astonishing, and I myself have never seen one online. These conversations act like haunting illusions of a future we can only dream of, as if such a situation is purely unattainable otherwise.

We fawn over the thought, calling ourselves servants at the hands of a society where men and women can join each other and claim that there is no reason to feel unequal. The idea is breathtaking, and the friendships between men and women would be endless. Unfortunately, modern-day social media displays misogyny, misandry, animosity and all forms of verbal destruction against both genders that I feel sorry to merely acknowledge.

Before I took a break from being active on social media, I used Instagram to showcase my thoughts on these issues. I found it compelling to have an audience of my close friends and acquaintances listening as I explained and rationalized about online sexism repeatedly.

Occasionally, the topic sparked up friendly conversation about disagreements, and being honest, I felt threatened by how unthreatening the discussion was. It was as if I was asking for a reason to feel angry, to feel offended, but I instead was met with the harsh reality that social media can allow engagement in normal conversation.

The culture that revolves around online discussion is brash and led by emotion rather than by statistics, and while Blanchard may claim that she wants precise statistics before she alters her position against men, many online still fail to recognize the validity of such numbers. Her use of a hasty generalization clearly shows the lack of structure within her argument; I may be solely pointing her out, but her rationale stands as an example of the obstacles we face in the path to gender equality.

MSNBC used Twitter demographics to explain the impact of current events revolving around gender debates on the amount of discussion about sexism, and the results show that social media holds power. It holds hope and determination and serves as a pathway to a society where we may be able to hold hands and know we have no fear of being inferior to one another. Our generation is accustomed to seeing this magnitude of a response online, but when imagining every person who tweeted about this, there is potential change that we can visualize.

We have small devices hidden in the back pockets of our jeans that give us access to billions of users across the Internet, and all it takes is one post online to go viral. Within minutes, we can reach out to hundreds or thousands of people, updating them about our lives. With the ability to contact an enormous number of people, the only question you are left to ask yourself is, "How will you bring about a positive change to social equality?"

Your response to this question is being awaited every moment of your life.

Disclaimer: Please note that this has been a speech previously submitted as an assignment in a class.

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