In an age where people can say whatever they want about anyone or anything and let the world know in an instant, they will. While this is empowering in one sense, it also gives people the freedom to take everything at face value, therefore letting themselves be insulted by it when they disagree. I want to preface this by stating that I am not touching on political or cultural opinions -- I am referring to the people that pick fights over the fact that someone doesn’t like coffee, the moon, the stars, and the color of carpet in a store they just visited. I am referring to the pettiness that my social media timelines have become immersed with.
We Can All Have An Opinion
While we live in the United States of America, we have the First Amendment. While some individual opinions may seem ludicrous to you, that doesn’t take away their right to believe in it. You can have your opinion, I can have mine. If we agree, awesome. If we don’t agree, even better. Personally, I think it’s great to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures with contrasting opinions. It shows you the diversity all around us. Just because you have a differing perspective, does not make you enemies.
Does It Matter To Your Life?
Why do you care that someone doesn’t like your favorite music artist? You both have different tastes. Why do you care that the girl whose YouTube channel you came across likes a product that didn’t work for you? You’re different people with different expectations.
What comes to my mind is this: a tattooed person doesn’t care if you don’t have tattoos, so why do you care that they do? If it’s not a personal attack on you, don’t even give it a second thought. Also, you can’t assume it is personal. If they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personally. If you only have mutual friends and the only words you’ve exchanged are, “Hi my name is ____,” don’t take it to heart.
In an attempt to comprehend why people get so distraught over things that should have no affect to their life on a daily basis, I come to two possible conclusions: pessimism and hurt.
Maybe they take everything to heart and are a sensitive person, and that is totally fine. Everyone has feelings. But before you get mad at something while you’re scrolling through your Twitter or Facebook feed, stop and ask yourself if it's worth the fight just to prove your point. Most likely the answer is no. It’s social media. When reading a post from someone, you can take it completely out of context which provides the possibility to misconstrue your point as well as theirs.
Try to remember that it’s just social media. That should have no bearing on you as a person.
As I scroll through the comment section of many different YouTubers, I genuinely become sad for some people. Some viewers will comment the most vicious remarks attacking the video and its contents, but it goes so much further than just stating their opinion about whatever topic at hand. People will dissect someone’s moral character and personality on the basis of what products they are showing and whether they worked or did not work for them. After one person comments something, it becomes a domino effect -- they just keep rolling in. Once someone that likes the video starts defending it, the attacker comes at them. It’s a vicious cycle. With these people, it’s hard to take them seriously. You have to imagine that they are going through something themselves and the only way they feel relief is to tear others down. It really has nothing to do with what is posted. They feel bad about themselves or something else, so they try to bring others down with them. And to that I say, wish them the best and hope they find their way into the light.
It’s so easy to say that it’s just social media, it comes with the territory.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
While that’s true, it’s more than that. We live in a time where the online world is not just a separate entity anymore. For most, it is where we get the latest events, top hits, and keep up with friends and family across the country. I think it’s a reach to say it runs our lives, but it’s close.
When people comment on things tearing into others or your lives from behind an electronic device, they forget they’re typing into the mind of others and that comes with an incredible responsibility.
All I'm saying here is that we all need to get over the fact that not everyone agrees. At what point in history has everyone seen the same way about every little thing in the world? Never. Stop creating online wars with each other because of a difference in opinion.
This is a great eye-opening video by Jaclyn Hill where she expresses her ideas and feelings relating to this subject. She makes excellent points. It's definitely worth watching.