Being Offended is Okay: Sharing why having diverse opinions is good rather than bad.

With todays technology and social media, we are constantly being exposed to a multitude of varying opinions and viewpoints on a day to day basis. These can include topics such as racism, political viewpoints, gender inequality, etc. Issues like these can receive a lot of mixed reactions from people. Some groups of may praise an idea or policy, while other may criticize it. With division of idealisms in social media and themes of “cancel culture,” often times, we feel pressured into thinking with the majority, and may feel forced to agree, disagree, or tolerate something we would not normally. When we do this, we may feel as if our true opinion on a matter is wrong, and we might try to shut out how we truly feel. As human beings, it is natural to try to fit in with the norm and go with the flow when we are offended, but it is also important to take in mind our own feelings and opinions. Sometimes we have to sit back and ask, “Am I gaslighting myself?”

With many topics in the news today being so black and white, some ideologies spark much controversy and some groups of people are demonized for differing opinions or viewpoints. On social media, some internet users have come up with terminology to disclude groups of individuals who may be easily offended. With whatever subject it is at hand, the internet has coined terms such as “Karen”, “snowflake”, or maybe even “social justice warrior” to make others feel bad about what they had to say. Intimidation is just not only in the form of cyber bullying or name calling, but it can also be subliminal programming as well. When we see a certain viewpoint or idea being portrayed on social media frequently, this can lead to a majority of us into believing this ideology, making it the new “norm”. Programming can also lead us to second-guess our own ideals in more political topics, leading us to wondering if our own opinion is the problem, rather than the problem itself. With all this in mind, it is easy to be intimidated to express how you truly feel about a topic, and this may lead us to feeling muted in a lot of conversations.

As we all come from different backgrounds, it is understandable that we all have different boundaries than the peers around us. Due to different exposure and stimuli in our past environments, we all form our own opinions on what is and what is not appropriate. Some of us might find certain information on social media to be a bit too explicit, while others might find some political topics to be too controversial and might be uncomfortable discussing it. It is important to note that because of this, there is no such thing as normal when it comes to what is and what is not offensive. When we keep this in mind, criticism means nothing as that the problem lies not within ourselves, but in those who refuse to open their minds to the viewpoints of other people.

Eastern has a diverse community of students, who each have their own unique stories and understandings of today’s issues. This makes EU a great place to learn different ideas and philosophies. We just need to  surround ourselves with the right people, so we can share our ideas in a safe environment.