Forget racing to have the most insightful takeaway
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
I have a friend who has no opinions on anything. At least that’s what he says. His feels that life flows by and he moves like a cloud in the sky, soft and breezy, wherever the wind chooses to take him. He seems to be bothered by nothing and, though an educated person, he doesn’t ever tout his degree or opinions to anyone—even if he is the most well-informed person in the room on a particular subject.
I have been in situations where my friend gives in to whatever decision others choose to take, even if they fail miserably. And when asked why he is so easy going and non-opinionated, he’ll simply reply with “people will take advantage of your opinions. My life is easier and drama free with no opinions.” But what about when it matters? Sure, I can see the skill being useful when the gang argues about going out for sushi or tacos, and life definitely would be filled with less drama without opinions on the latest trending artists and celebrities—but what about voting? Where he lives in the world? Where he goes for vacation? What about new rules and regulations in the workplace? Does he not have any opinions on these subjects? Do any of these things matter to him? Like a cloud dissipating in the sky… apparently not.
People have always been opinionated, and this trait is often perceived as a healthy one. Having an opinion helps define who you are, it sheds light on your personality and your preferences, and it shows that you have a voice. But it seems as though there is a race to have an opinion on every subject possible, and social media is the perfect place to highlight this competition. Worse yet, everyone’s opinions will always be out there for anyone to read and form their own opinions on. This really does matter because people are known to be impulsive and emotional. According to an experiment by The Conversation, people’s moods influence whether or not they act like trolls online. It seems people have mistaken saying something—anything—with actually having something to say. Reacting to world events has become a game about who can have the most insightful takeaway. The need to formulate a hot take has been motivated more by a rush of endorphins than by sincere activism. “Educating” people has been taken too far.
It’s an online world now. I mean, it always has been, but now we’re more or less all forced to live our lives from home. This means that there will be many more people browsing social media platforms and posting their thoughts and opinions—wanted or not. This also means that a higher percentage of people may experience more regular foul moods—and can you blame them? Because of the influence that emotions have over people’s actions, and the drive to feel like what they have to say matters, more and more people are likely to be posting their opinions and causing unnecessary conflict and drama.
But what if we didn’t? What if we took a step back and realized that, to some degree, my opinion-less friend is right? We don’t need to have an opinion on everything. During this worldwide indoor experiment, we should consider taking this time to practice being more like a cloud, gently wandering in the breeze. However, because I am an opinionated person, as many of us are, it is my opinion that we should still care about bigger matters. But, perhaps we don’t need to share our thoughts on how terrible that artist’s song was, or how much of a hypocrite a particular nation’s leader is. Do you catch my drift? Let’s take this time to enjoy a higher quality of life, a life where we don’t need to abstain from social media (because it truly is a major source of entertainment during an all-day indoors summer). We can abstain from making social media a sour place to be. Save ‘em for the things that really matter.