Scared to voice your opinion?

Me too………..sometimes. There is so much that happens in a day and the news is right at your fingertips on Facebook, Twitter, etcetera, etcetera! As a blogger, I want to be able to voice my opinion, of course still being respectful of others’ feelings, but I find myself holding back and it is so frustrating.

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When a big story breaks, I like to read people’s comments. It gives me a sample-sized perspective of the opinions that float around in the ether. For research purposes, I would sometimes even click on the profile of a person whose comment(s) most intrigued me to find out where they are located. This is not to stalk them, but rather to acquire some context regarding differences of opinions from people that I cannot reach due to geographical setup.

In no attempt to sound facetious, when I read the comment pages, I go through a couple stages of grief. My grief is for society. I grieve Prototype A: the person who makes comments that are entwined in pure vitriol. And Prototype B: the person who is unable to withstand the opinions of others because it does not align with their own thoughts and feelings. I realized that this makes it difficult for me to share my opinions.

A few weeks ago, I watched one of those “standard-lowering” videos of four young women who were physically attacking a young man because he was cheating on each of them with the other. And surprise, surprise, they all found out. One of the ladies was hitting him with a stick, while another repeatedly slapped his face.

After reading hundreds of other comments, I realized that most everyone was defending the guy. I knew that my opinion would be singular, but I felt compelled to share anyway.

My comment sounded a little something like this: “How many times have we seen women tear each other apart fighting over a guy who obviously disrespected them? It is “nice” to see for a change women becoming smarter about this stuff. Don’t feel bad for him. He knew what he was doing when he starting dating ALL of them”.

Looking back now, I realize that my choice of words may not have been totally appropriate. You live and you learn!

I did get about 2 likes, but then Guy No. 1 responded. He was decent in his disagreement of my opinion. He premised by saying that he did not want to start a fight. To be clear, by “fight”, he meant the typical Facebook-comment-sparring. And that I should not say “it was nice to see that”. He was absolutely right! I re-commented, letting him understand that I am not a proponent of violence, but I think everyone’s empathy for this guy getting slapped around by “his girlfriends” was misguided. He left it there.

But then Guy No. 2 comments. He decides to question my intelligence, my sanity, you name it. He was so fired up. To be honest, I was pretty offended – not because he asked me if I was stupid, but the way in which he conducted himself. He added nothing to the “conversation”. All he did was iterate the first guy’s opinion, but with less tact and savior-faire.

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My fingers were itching to respond. But I actually took a few minutes to think about what I would write as to not continue the conversation in this inelegant manner.
I wrote that I still believed that the guy in the video got what was coming to him, and that he should not be wasting his tears on him. I asked him respectfully why he went about sharing his opinion the way he did. The name-calling was unnecessary and that he is part of the problem. He never responded.

When I referred to guy No. 2 being part of the problem, I had not realized then, that he would serve as an example for a much larger problem. Today, we sit at restaurants and have our eyes planted on our phones. We no longer sit around a table to discuss life’s issues. But when we get behind a computer screen, we are filled with so much fervor and intensity. I guarantee that guy No. 2 would never behave that way if he were in front of me having a discussion. It just wouldn’t be the way one would conduct themselves around other people.

What is the solution for this internet hatred between people? Will it ever stop? Sharing your thoughts and feelings can cost you so much today: your career, your relationships, even your life. It doesn’t make sense. I believe that it is humanly possible for one to share an opinion without being hateful and possible for one to accept a different opinion without being hateful.

Thoughts?

-Reporter

Featured Image Source: live4.com.au
Image Source 1: planetminecraft.com
Image Source 2: geekandjock.com

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