Adverse Opinions
By   |  User Experience 

Adverse opinions are a pain. Hitler didn’t like them. The Spanish Inquisition didn’t like them either. The Islamic State frowns upon it.

Disney didn’t like it when Tim Burton thought he bring “other things” to the table, and neither did one of the might-have-been-a-Beatles-label when they dismissed the guitar as a thing of the past.

Adverse opinions are a pain precisely because they are adverse. And, in adversity, we are forced to argue (if we’re the arguing type), to reflection (if we’re the silent type), and to think (if we’re the humane type). Either option requires some effort, and, in most cases, we’d rather stay put in our little corner, or we’d rather defend ourselves, fighting tooth and nail, in joy and in sadness.

Luckily, for me, and for mankind in general, social media allow us that, more than ever. We are all entitled to an opinion, we hoist our flag, with relative ease, in any comment or post (unless you’re a Saudi or a Turk), and words have never had so much power. Freedom of speech, our combined voices, has been the century’s greatest gift.

Unfortunately, for myself, and all of us, stupidity has never run so freely, and the devices behind which we hide never before have allowed us to be so arrogant, petty and judgmental as we are today. And this, it has nothing to do with adverse opinions.

I’ve watched Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk just this morning. In 1998, this 22 year old girl was about to become the leading star of the “dark side of the web.” In 1998, we took our greatest weapon and, not knowingly, turned it against ourselves.

We are just one step short of being a cyber bully when we forget to argue for the sake of the argument, and just start being judgmental – When we not only do not share, but also ridicule someone else’s opinion (or existence). We instrumentalize social media while we splinter it – we use it to our benefit while we try to annihilate everything social about it.

“Isn’t the same as always, just through a new medium?” Yes. I’d say we’ve moved from the school playground to a bigger one – a bigger, global, perennial and unforgetting playground.

When did our lives become so uninteresting?
Is it the way to empathy that boring?

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