Does Your Opinion Even Matter?

As kids, we are continually assured that our opinions matter and our voice should be heard and valued. (Well, unless you came from a super traditional family where kids were meant to be seen and not heard, but that’s a pretty antiquated principal for raising kids.)

Assuming you had a good support system (and didn’t grow up in 1910), you were probably always encouraged to voice your opinion and command respect in the process – whether others agreed with that opinion or not.

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To be fair, it’s a great cornerstone from which to base your life, but the flipside is that this belief system has bred a culture in which everyone believes their opinions matter, and that’s not only misguided; it’s also pretty narcissistic. As the old saying goes, opinions are like assholes – there’s a lot of them, and most serve no real purpose or provide any real value.

Social platforms like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter have only fueled the flames by giving everyone with a computer or cellular device a place to voice their opinion. And that’s all well and good, but it also gives a false sense of importance and expertise on topics. Just look at the comment sections on virtually any website, blog, or article – there’s no shortage of people that have input. That’s great when the conversation or topic centers around real issues that deserve feedback and discussion. But let’s be real – 70% of the content out there isn’t informative or deserving of commentary. It just isn’t.

If I read an article about how the earth is flat or how some mom didn’t put her child in a car seat EXACTLY the way she’s supposed to, does that really warrant my input? Is my criticism in the comment section really necessary? Like, I understand that we all have opinions, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to hear them.

Opinions are often based on emotion with no substantiated evidence to bolster them which and that means two things. 1) Your opinions don’t always matter. Sorry, it sucks to hear, but more people need to hear it. YOUR OPINIONS OFTEN ARE COMPLETELY INCONSEQUENTIAL AND SERVE NO PURPOSE. 2) The main culprit for why people feel the need to express their opinion on every issue is because technology has given this freedom and false impression that everyone is an expert and every voice should be heard.

To exacerbate this narrative, major media stations and outlets overstuff their news content with guest appearances from “experts” that spend 90% of the segment just speculating on what did or might happen. Facts have been replaced with assumptions and verbal diarrhea.

Simply put – opinions matter but so do facts. Your voice counts, but only when it’s based on facts, insight, and experience. Before you run your trap or start furiously tapping on your keyboard on some message board, maybe pause and wonder if you are actually contributing positively to the conversation. Do you know the whole story? Would you be saying these things if your anonymity wasn’t safeguarded behind a computer? Are you venting or providing a valid point?

In other words: does your opinion ACTUALLY matter?  Just because you “feel things” or “have thoughts” doesn’t mean the world needs to hear them.

Upset because your favorite restaurant ran out of guacamole? Maybe instead of bitching about it to YELP and potentially ruining a business, just write about it in your journal, Linda.

THE WORLD DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE SUBJUGATED TO YOUR EVERY THOUGHT.

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