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Wei Ding https://unsplash.com/photos/APdFzmUOH-8

We Can Do Better

Everyone takes everything too seriously.

Becoming offended by what someone else has to say just wastes time.

People on the internet today argue merely to win.

In this era, especially this past year, people firmly believe that their opinions and ideals are absolute truth. They post countless Instagram stories that condemn other opinions, with some lame social media source. They instigate and rant in the comments of posts and Tik Tok videos. Typically, their ignorance is too overwhelming for any intelligent or productive conversation. Usually, these stupid internet arguments devolve into whoever can roast the other better.

Adrian Swancar   https://unsplash.com/photos/JXXdS4gbCTI

Scrolling through posts and comment sections reveals an array of beefs about every imaginable chasm of the universe. I almost lose hope for humanity and our future. How has everyone become so polarized? self-righteous? and smug? This left me pulling my hair out and wanting to do something to end the madness.

A bunch of preteens and self-proclaimed sociological thinkers have no comprehension of life—neither do I—but based on their stories and posts you would think they had studied Aristotle for decades. Instead, their arrogance and belief that only their point of view could be right suggests that the rest of us are a cluster of misdirected lost souls. Everyone takes everything too seriously. What has happened to us as a society? Nobody is an identical copy of another, and no universal sentiment or belief could be applied to everyone, despite cancel culture or bullying on Twitter by the woke police.

Thankfully, I have found an approach and outlook that has kept me from falling off the edge of sanity. When I see the arguments online and the posts that condemn opinions I hold, I shrug it off, laugh at how the most minute issue or problem irks people to hysterical defensiveness. I have realized just how eager we have become to get offended over nothing.

Everyone has different personalities, opinions, and experiences, so becoming offended by what someone else has to say just wastes time. Irshad Manji covers the consequences of our reactionary society as she argues that “when we allow ourselves to take offense, we miss out on the opportunity to learn from people with views that differ from our own. ‘Giving offense is the price of diversity, not an impediment to diversity’” (qtd. in Lautrup).

Our diversity has led to millions of beliefs and experiences that avert any universal opinion or ideology from evolving. We all should be able to say what we believe in a respectful, calm, and coherent manner that allows others to agree or disagree, also respectfully. And that should be the end of it. No screaming matches, no condemning a person’s character or reputation.

If a person has strong, passionate beliefs, of course they can post or speak out on the topic, but the second they condemn or disrespect someone else for their opinion—they not only look like an idiot, they also undermine their entire purpose. Maybe I am overly exposed to a generation that has been given a platform they are not yet mature enough to manage, but I see grown adults play into the childish game of virtue signaling and self-righteousness and then take great offense at everything.

Nick Weaver Avatar