Unfair judgment given to pressured opinions

Julianna Poe, Copy Editor

Having an opinion, especially a concrete opinion, has always been a difficult thing for me. Both sides of every story that I have encountered consistently have seemingly right and wrong variables within their fabrication. Not only that but hearing both perspectives constantly sways my view back and forth. Many times, one or both stances on the topic at hand have been either given misled information or are purposefully spreading false information.

In today’s society, we are unfairly judged for our opinions. However, we’re pressured to have an opinion about varying subject matter in school, at home, at work, in politics or even just with friends. Some of us are indifferent. Reasons for this may include having no interest in the issue, being stuck in the middle of both sides or even being unwilling to have an opinion due to the fear of what others may think. Tell me, does this seem fair to you?

Now, I’m not saying you have to agree with me. This column still is an opinion in itself. I’m only asking that you take a moment to ponder to yourself if you truly feel as though you are persuaded to have an opinion because society tells you that you need to pick left or right?

According to howtohappy.com, it is not advised that you should try to impose your beliefs on others. For one, it can be interpreted that you don’t care about what the other thinks. Plus, it isn’t very effective and you gain nothing from it. The reason I bring this up is because while it’s clear forcing your values on others is wrong, social media still plays a role in this madness.

In an article written by Kitanya Harrison, she states: “There’s something about the way social media is constructed that makes the people using it feel like we have to have an opinion on everything that comes across our feeds, particularly if it’s inflammatory.”

Harrison goes on to explain that today’s social structure is designed to “happen fast” and for there to be instant feedback before anyone can think things through. With the probability of blowing up online, participating in the argument and/or coming up with a witty response is becoming increasingly important to everyone. Furthermore, debating with others in the comments is a frequent occurrence.

“Attention is this world’s most valuable currency,” Harrison wrote. “Kent State Gun Girl understands how powerful the sum of all these urges is. Every dunk fest in her mentions is a win for her. She’s being hate-tweeted into relevance just like Token Lanyard was. There’s a reason I’m not using their names. Every time we do, it’s a small victory for them.”

Due to our fast-paced media, fake news can be easily spread and it goes right under people’s radar.

To illustrate, Denise-Marie Ordway wrote in an article: “Even as Americans recognize that fake news causes confusion about current issues and events, they continue to circulate it.”

To summarize, all of the above influences can make forming an uneducated opinion and/or argument relatively easy. Additionally, pressure from social media, peers, etc. makes it crucial to have an opinion, whether you want one or not.

We don’t need to have an opinion on everything that crosses our paths. We shouldn’t have to pick sides. It is okay to be in the middle. It is okay to have an opinion as well. However, it is not okay to pressure others into agreeing with you or even to have an opinion in general. We may have freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t respect others’ opinions.