Politics & Culture

Are we too opinionated now?

By Mimi Benjamin

Opinions are a necessity. Often they’re what makes us who we are, they show our values, what we think, and sometimes lead to interesting conversations about why we think the way we do.

But I have to ask, have we as a society become too opinionated? Let me explain myself before you jump to conclusions. I mean, have we as a society become too opinionated about things that do not directly impact our lives or cause genuine harm to others?

For instance, Lewis Hamilton is supposedly thinking about walking away from Formula One – after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix controversy. I think many of us can agree that after 7 world championship wins, stepping down at the end of the last season would have made sense. But was this the expectation because we thought he would be stepping away with 8 championships, rather than on a loss?

The idea, that this incredible sportsman could be walking away from Formula One, has sent fans into a frenzy. Many called him out for looking like a sore loser, after it was ultimately the FIA’s questionable decision that caused him to lose out on his 8th World Championship win. But, is all this questioning and uproar necessary? As fans of a sport, who are we to question or try and impact his decisions, simply because it is our opinion that he shouldn’t walk away from Formula One?

We form opinions about influencers online that we have never met before. I have to say, I’m guilty for being a tad too invested in Molly-Mae Hague’s journey. When it comes to influencers, what are we forming these opinions on? Most likely, a projection of a perfect life that isn’t reality.

It is possible that we aren’t more opinionated. Maybe it is more the fact that we are able to share our opinions in a different way? Instead of opinions being discussed in a conversation, we are able to broadcast them to hundreds of people at a time on social media. It is also possible that we feel more of a pressure to discuss our opinions because of these platforms, to tell others what we think of current events and engage in debates.

But, this does not change the question of if we have become too opinionated. Opinions now seem to be very divisive, especially online. Instead of being a moment where two people with different opinions can learn from one another and potentially even change their mind, we appear to have a habit of doubling down and refusing to hear the other person.

Of course, there are instances where someone’s opinion is outright bigoted and we should continue to question those (I won’t get mad at you for fighting the good fight). After all, here I am writing an article questioning if we are too opinionated, and adding my own opinions into the mix of thousands others. Maybe that says it all.

Categories: Politics & Culture