Social media to blame for opinion intolerance

Share This:

An opinion cannot be wrong.

This is something that  has been forgotten in today’s day and age, and I think social media may deserve some of the blame as to why this truth has been overlooked.

A couple of weeks ago, I had an interaction on social media that exemplified just this. Some friends of mine were debating who they thought was the best basketball player of all time. During the back-and-forth conversation, one of my friends told the other that his opinion was wrong.

I chimed in by saying that an opinion cannot be wrong, which was quickly rebuked by all others participating in the conversation. I found this disturbing.  

Since this interaction, I have often wondered why it seems like we don’t value other people’s opinions anymore. The best thing about living in this country is we have the right to believe what we want to believe.

Social media merits some of the blame for this. It gives a voice to everyone. We are constantly exposed to views that are different than ours. Many of these views we may never know without social media. CNN reports that teens spend an average of nine hours a day consuming media. On platforms where people can and are encouraged to share their beliefs, it’s only a matter of time before we read an opinion that is different than ours.

I’ve often found myself bothered when I see people sharing an opinion on something that I have an opposing view on. It is difficult to refrain from trying to convince them that their view is wrong. This is something probably everyone has felt. I used to want to try and convince everyone who had a different opinion that I was right, but it usually led to a heated argument.

Discussing opposing views with other people can be great. It helps us grow and understand the lives and experiences of others. Taking the wrong approach when discussing controversial topics can often lead to actual controversy.

I recall discussing very controversial topics such as homosexuality with family members. While these topics can be difficult to talk about, it helps us understand different points of view which ultimately lead to more knowledge and growth. My beliefs have changed from having conversations like these after looking at things in a different way.

I remind myself that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. After all, their opinion doesn’t affect me. It doesn’t prevent me from believing what I believe or living the life I want to live. 

Just because someone has a different opinion doesn’t mean he or she is wrong. They have every right to believe what they want to believe. The next time an opposing view comes into your life, use discretion.

As we begin the new year, include this as one of your resolutions. There are few things greater you can give a person than respect. Let us be mindful of the opinions of others so that we might live in a better world today than yesterday.