We live in an era where everybody has an opinion on pretty much everything and, thanks to the joy (he says, tongue in cheek) that is social media we get to see opinions all the time.
Great! Finally we’re all able to say what we think in a place where most anybody can see it. Hallelujah!
However, the immediate by-product of opinion is offense. Since mass opinion started doing the rounds, so too did mass offense. People seem to be offended by everything these days.
I’m not going to be backwards about coming forwards here; people who are easily offended leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Actually, I’ll rephrase that. People who are easily offended and simply must state loud and proud that they are offended leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I have a brilliant meme stored away somewhere that talks about people who are offended that, by now, I really should have committed to memory, but I haven’t.
You can’t stop somebody being offended by something. The idea in itself is ludicrous. You can’t stop somebody having an opinion either. While there are things in this world, opinions will be there. I just ate a tin of soup. In my opinion, it was lacking in kick so I threw in some habanero tabasco sauce and then it was souperb (I really am sorry about that).
You can’t stop opinions, but it seems that people who are offended by opinion will do all in their power to ensure that said opinion doesn’t rear its head again.
I’m an administrator in a Facebook group called For No Reason At All that is growing at an immense rate; over 16,000 members and counting. At least twice daily, my phone blows up about a post being reported because somebody has taken offense to it. I don’t mind saying that it’s bloody annoying! Especially as 90% of the time there’s nothing even wrong with the post.
Perhaps I’m biased because nothing offends me. It just isn’t in my nature.
As much as I abhor those who are offended easily, there is a veritable ocean of opinionated folk who must take the bullet too. I see so much crap posted here, there and everywhere that I actually avoid Facebook most days. I can avoid Twitter for a lot longer as that place is even worse.
It seems that nobody likes to think before they speak and that their opinion is based wholly on one side of whatever story they’re preaching. In my opinion, that is not an opinion. How can you be so vociferous about a subject if you haven’t taken the time to read up on the counter to it? And yet, people are; ALL OF THE TIME!
More to the point, why can’t people who have an opinion just be happy with that? Why must they plaster it everywhere?
Both opinion and offense are evil, as stated in the title. Too many people have free reign to be opinionated in spite of the fact that they lack the grey matter to form an opinion that holds any weight while on the other hand there are too many others happily ready to be offended and kick up a fuss rather than ignoring those who have a stupid and evidently unrevised opinion.
So which is worse?
At this juncture I’m unable to decide. Looking at it as neutrally as I can, I don’t think people should be banging on about things that they aren’t fully clued up on. If your opinion is that you like Manchester City and not Manchester United because you prefer the way City play then that is a kosher opinion and something that can’t be argued. If you claim to like City and not United because United aren’t even from Manchester and their fans are all foreign then you’re a moron who believes everything you hear. Your opinion is invalid as it isn’t based on fact.
Too many of the latter kind are creeping through the woodwork. Worse is that their ramblings are actually getting believed by others and then spread around like some evil virus.
Then there are those who spread absolute nonsense about things like immigration and other such trite political paraphernalia. I have seen so much nonsense about foreigners being the rack and ruin of Britain, how Muslims are offended by Christmas, etc. The less intelligent/less educated hear this kind of thing and lap it up (especially those who are already closet racists) before going viral with their thoughts about it. Before you know it, absolute gibberish is doing the rounds and people are up in arms about it.
Yes, a hefty number of opinionated folk should just have their social media accounts deactivated as they’re clearly too daft to have an opinion of any merit.
But those who are easily offended should bear this in mind. Rather than getting so offended by such opinions, they should look at the person from whence the opinion came and decide whether it really is worth rising to the bait of such a person. You cannot argue with stupid!
And yet you always do and, in the process, simply make yourselves look the villain of the piece. Honestly; you really do look the villain. Nobody likes a complainer. You just look and sound like a whinging, insecure baby. A more intelligent person would look at the opinion and say ‘aw, bless your cotton socks’ in as condescending a fashion as possible.
So in summary, it is more unintelligent/uneducated versus insecure. Fundamentally, being offended is a choice. This is something I firmly believe. You can choose to be offended by things. You can choose to be unoffended by them. You can choose just to ignore something you don’t agree with. The power is in your hands, but then that would be less fun wouldn’t it? Admit it; you’re offended and complain because you enjoy it. You enjoy telling people off.
So my conclusion to this is that being opinionated is perhaps the lesser of two evils given as any jellybrain can have an opinion. Being offended is better thought out.
My advice is this; if you have an opinion, research it and think about it before sharing your views with the world. If you’re offended, think about the source of the opinion before getting on your moral high horse. Do you really need to lambast the person with the opinion and risk looking like an absolute dick? Is it necessary?
What are your opinions? I’d like to hear them so we can have a jolly good discussion. If you’re offended, however, I think you know what to do…