Opinion Opinion Feature

Online rants: A digital stonewall

When was the last time you tried talking calmly to someone who disagreed with what you posted on your feed?

There are times where I feel like everyone is just trying to say something that attacks the person immediately just because they do not share the same sentiments or beliefs. I’m not trying to suppress people into not sharing their opinions or sentiments on certain issues or ideas in social media. I just hope that they are actually putting in an effort to create more meaningful discussions rather than just one-sidedly cementing their viewpoints or opinions online.

An example of thoughtless, one-sided opinions are those that were thrown at a group of school girls who rallied during the controversial Marcos burial. Some commented that “these children are the products of brainwashing by the CBCP.” The comment is a good example of how easily people tend to fight others’ opinions with their own opinions. The girl who was present in the photo responded by saying that they are not brainwashed and that they can think for themselves and she even went on by saying that the youth shouldn’t be underestimated and even asked the commenter if it could have been better if the youth were clueless when the youth are known as the hope for the future. The original poster, however, did not respond to or acknowledge the student’s defense; Open mouth, closed ears.

Yes, posting about these ideas, issues, and topics are one way of making people aware of them but how will we ensure that these people we are trying to reach out to are actually taking note of this? I’m not against people who decide to be vocal about their stance or opinion about issues. Maybe, instead of aggressively calling people out for their opinions and ideologies, we could devise a way where healthier discourse could be done.

Okay, engage in healthier discourse, what’s next? Acceptance. There are people out there with the same set of ideas or ideologies, but we should also learn that there are people who do not have the same opinions as ours and that’s okay. It is okay because we are not in control of what media they consume, or what experiences they had or are undergoing. Who are we to actually force these ideas or opinions to them when they are actually capable of thinking on their own. To each his own, as the saying goes. At the end of the day, it is up to them about what they should believe in or not.

In times like this, one must pause and think, if we are actually listening. Listening to what the other person is talking about and taking time to understand what they are trying to say. It might seem easy at first, but when we are so caught up with our own lives, some of us tend to get distracted with other things while we are actually interacting with other people and we miss their point. In addition, listening is equally as important to talking since it would be counterproductive if people just kept on talking and did not take into account what the other person is trying to say. People even say, that communication is actively listening to someone.

So, the next time you try to strike up a conversation with someone about anything, remember to listen. Wouldn’t you want someone to listen to you and give feedbacks or opinions on what you are trying to talk about? Of course, you would love that since it means that the person is engaged with what you are currently talking about.

Take some time off from looking down on your phone whenever you are out with your friends, family, workmates, or significant other when they are trying to talk to you about something.

It doesn’t hurt to listen, you might learn a thing or two from others and thank them later for it.


Bea Francia

By Bea Francia

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