Is It Worth It To Be Offended?

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Taylor Sears, Staff Writer

Social media has become the heart and soul of many generations, especially to the Millennials, such as myself. The internet is where we get our news stories, daily memes and updates on people’s personal lives. Who would have known that this place created to spread awareness on world issues, invite others to social events, or share a joke could become so toxic? Having everyone hide their own opinion on many topics because they are afraid to be “attacked” online is ridiculous. Shouldn’t we embrace the fact that we all feel passionately about something and want to have an opinion? Wouldn’t apathy be so much worse?

Being judged for an opinion not only happens online, but in the real world as well. People have become so ready to strike at any given time, even to jump all over someone for mixing up some words or taking a comment the wrong way. For example, walking through a grocery store one day I heard someone go, “Why does it have to be white bread? Why can’t it be black bread or at least caucasian instead of white?” In my mind, I took it as a joke because it doesn’t seem so serious to me. To others, it may have been a completely different thought process and they took it the wrong way. You can truly never know now-a-days because everyone can be offended by anything.

It seems like many people have forgotten that there is a thing such as the First Amendment of the U.S Constitution that says that we have the freedom of speech, religion, or of the press. We have this for the everyone to have the right to their own opinion. People are allowed to not agree with what everyone else is saying in the media or around town. Just because someone has a different opinion from us does not mean that they should be labelled or discriminated against. We as a nation need to be more careful on how we speak to each other. Sometimes the topic is not even THAT important and it will not affect our daily lives, but people will still blow it out of proportion.

Lately when you watch the news, you see so many stories about “sensitive topics.” Most of these “sensitive topics” revolve around the President of the United States, gender equality, or even just talking about the type of clothing someone wears for ONE night. You might be thinking that something as inconsequential as a famous person’s dress choice is even news, but it is. This outrageous news about a “scandalous” dress only because her shoulder was showing or it was too short for liking, is now considered news. Why does anyone care if an actress’s shoulder was exposed or maybe the “color of the dress didn’t suit her hair color”? This is what we work with here in 2017.

Another topic of choice is the LGBTQ community. We have come so far to have equality for this community. Now that we have these laws that protect gay marriage, this topic has been blown out of proportion. People get offended if others don’t believe in gay marriage and get called homophobic due to their OWN opinion. Yes, love is love and everyone should be happy but that doesn’t give anyone the right to label others just because they don’t agree with the law. It would be just as bad, maybe even worse, if the tables were turned and a straight person started name calling someone who is gay. What’s the difference? There is no difference; just the fact that resorting to names and insults does nothing to make sure our opinions get heard.In general, name calling and labeling should not be used as often as it is now, even not at all. We all know that people do not like getting called names, so why do we do it? Labeling each other is just the beginning to a whole other topic. This can go into stereotypes, fat shaming, racism and so many more unnecessary labels people give each other.

Labels are also harmful because sometimes they take away from what really matters. One of the biggest topics in recent news is the President of the United States himself. When it comes to President Trump, we all have different opinions on him. Whether you like him or you hate him, we need to start focusing on the REAL situations we are put in rather than what the media spreads. Now that President Trump is in office, many things the media puts out there is really unnecessary for us to even see. The media is still talking about the election and it’s been months since he was declared president elect, yet we are still trying to figure out if the election is really a scam. Why are we not more focused on the laws he wants to pass and all the protests going on? Yes, you hear a lot about them, but no one seems to take as much action as they are trying to find the solution for the fake ballots for President Trump’s election win. We need to put our focus and attention on what really matters and not what has happened in the past or what doesn’t affect us at all now.

All in all, we need to take a minute and think. We need to think about not what is “right or wrong” but what is “important and not important.” We need to realize that we all don’t have the same opinion and that it is totally okay if we don’t. It doesn’t affect our lives at all what others think, so there is no need for the extra conflict. While spreading our opinions we need to be careful how it is stated and making sure others do not get the wrong idea. If you get the wrong idea, stop and think if it really is worth the argument. Is the topic really worth it at all? Just walk away. Yelling at each other and calling each other names really doesn’t solve anything. We all just need to stop, think and then say what we feel. That could possibly just bring us all just a little closer.