31 January 2018

Who’s afraid of the big bad opinion?

This isn’t my usual type of post, but bear with me as it’s been brewing all day and I need to get it out.. There’s a lot of questions below, but bear with me as I’ve been pondering and I’m really keen to hear your views.

When did we all become so sensitive to others opinions/views? It can’t only be me that thinks nowadays people become offended by the slightest thing or by an opinion or view that doesn’t match up with their own? Now before I start, let me make it really clear, I do not condone any form of hatred or discrimination of any kind against anyone, what I am referring to is about opinions and views.

Case in point – today I’ve been made aware of a “back and for” between two bloggers (who I hadn’t even heard of until today) all because of (from what I can make out) is a huge misunderstanding that has snowballed. Now I’m not about to get involved or give my opinion as I don’t care – no honestly, I genuinely don’t care. These people don’t impact my life, I don’t know them and I certainly don’t have a view either way on what has gone on. What has surprised me however is the amount of people who have got involved and jumped on this bandwagon.

We seem to now live in a society that can no longer laugh at themselves, or ignore or rebuke an opinion if it doesn’t fit with ours – seemingly, the done thing is to take offence, post about said offendedness (I don’t think that’s an actual word) and then get loads of people to back you up to reinforce your offendedness (yeah it definitely isn’t a word but it works here so forgive me)

As an example, a friend I met on here, posted a meme poking fun of being asked about being asked in a shop about having a receipt emailed, and actually got abuse for it from shop workers – what the actual? Yes love, we all know it’s your job and we know you don’t want to do it but have to, but YES, we are absolutely allowed to take the proverbial and no we shouldn’t feel bad for doing so!

I remember growing up we were a sturdy lot who endured endless mick taking from our parents, cousins, friends, teachers and anyone we came into contact with – Jeez some of the stuff that was landed on me was brutal, but by God it helped me develop my quick tongue, sense of humour and fondness for saracasm.

We gave as good as we got and we, as Brits, invented the sarcastic bite back and we do it with panache. So when exactly did this go away? Did we suddenly pass through a magical Harry Potter style sarcasm waterfall that means we can’t be sarcastic, tongue in cheek or have any opinion for fear of offending someone? Have I become so old and behind the times with my views on this or have we really become a nation of people who are so sensitive we need to be wrapped in bubble wrap and played soothing whale music on a constant loop so we aren’t taken aback by anyone who thinks differently?

We have come so far in terms of inclusiveness, human rights, diversity etc. (we still have a long way to go on some fronts, I know) yet I really feel we have gone backwards when it comes to accepting and dealing with differences of opinion.

I’m not sure how I get answers and I can only hope that my son develops a sense of humour, thick skin and an ability to strike someone down with words if he needs to for fun or for defence; because how sad would it be to live in a society where we all conform like worker ants? Where we don’t express our actual thoughts for fear of being called out, abused or challenged to a debate and we all morph into one boring old robo human. Urgh, I shudder at the thought.

Written by Rhi @rhifreshing_ 


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