It’s easy to have an opinion.
Everyone has them. They’re thrown around like knickers at a Tom Jones concert. And sadly, opinions seem to be the only currency of most social media posts and news organisation sites. A clickbait cocaine infused rush of righteous indignation and outrage is now the only way to generate interest and reaction. Someone coined it ‘outrage porn’.
All for what? Content and engagement for the purposes of eventually selling you something… either your data or a pair of the latest sensation in soft soled shoe technology that will apparently change your life.
It’s much harder (and it seems socially unacceptable) to want or try to understand someone or something. To be the voice of reason. Instead we’re asked to be judge, jury and executioner in one swift click of an icon.
We’re being told that our opinions matter even on things that have nothing to do with us. We get all upset and indignant about things we normally wouldn’t either care about or even know about.
A woman in Armenia uses dog poo as a hair conditioner and were all suddenly outraged sending an avalanche of opinions into cyberspace about a what terrible person she is and with some people even calling for the banning of dog poo or even her execution.
Sadly, we don’t even need facts or even a modicum of truth to have an opinion anymore. The idea of an informed and educated opinion has gone the way of the dodo… all you need is a dodgy photoshop image or a misspelled meme and next minute we’re all expert enough to offer an opinion no matter how stupid or vile it is.
It’s no wonder we’re all pots of simmering anger, resentment and indignation ready to boil over at the mere sight of a meme with the words ‘click like and share’. And like good citizens, we do just that, spread the anger, hatred, mistruths and ill-informed opinions without even thinking for ourselves.
Maybe I’ve got it wrong.
Maybe my opinion is wrong.
Maybe my opinion is based on half truths that I was told by someone else who had no idea what they were talking about.
Maybe I should shut up and sit quietly.
Maybe all these opinions only put up barriers between me and the rest of the world.
Barriers between me and you.
Really, the only thing between me and you…. is my opinion.
Maybe if I was brave enough for just one moment, to drop my opinion and see with open eyes and an open heart, I might discover that we have more in common that I thought.
It’s not you and me.
It’s us. Together.
We’re really all the same.