As anyone who knows me will tell you, I love old sayings. They may be cliché, but usually they are accurate. They have a way of putting things in perspective. The one that goes ” Opinions are like assholes…everyone has one”, is a particular favorite. It let’s people know…”guess what you have an opinion and so do I and it’s ok if they aren’t the same one. I kept repeating this saying in my head last night as people tweeted incessantly about how “sick they were of hearing about Lebron” or “How can you tweet about Lebron James when there is war, starvation, oil spills…” This particular sentiment really got my goat… does anyone think that just because people choose to express their thoughts or feelings about Lebron James leaving Cleveland that it means they don’t care about the oil spill in the Gulf or starvation across the globe? Are these thing mutually exclusive? Are we only allowed get upset and tweet about things if they are socially relevant or intellectually stimulating? I guess I didn’t realize that you expressing the need to go to the grocery store was on par with the “save the whales campaign”…If I’m not mistaken, the creators of twitter did not invent it as a forum for deep meaningful philosophical conversation. Afterall how deep can you get in 140 characters?
This blog is not intended to express my opinion on the Lebron “decision.” I’ve made my jokes, I’ve made my sincere statements…and everyone is right, it’s not important enough to go into massive detail. But I sorta feel that , while Lebron James is not worth tweeting about, people being able to vent their frustrations and crack jokes and express concern for their city is worth tweeting about. It may not be as important as your thoughts on the Holocaust, but it’s important none the less….
But I digress…because really this post is not about Lebron James…this post is about people expressing themselves in a forum designed to give them that ability to do just that.
When I was younger I used to love to debate about everything under the sun. I felt that everyone should hear my opinion and see my side of the argument and agree with me. But as I have gotten older I have come to see that, while it is important to have a strong point of view about things, it is not always mandatory that you force your opinions on other people. Maturity in my view is learning the fine art of knowing when to be open-minded and when to open minds.
The reality is that Twitter is not that much different from the real world. In the real world people have opinions that they share with you, that you may not agree with. But unlike the real world you decide whether you’re going to accept that they have the right to express themselves, and therefore keep your opinions to yourself, or you can choose to unfollow their ass. Or I suppose if it’s something worth debating over you could engage in a discussion, though I suggest if you want it to be a meaningful discussion, you may want to meet in person over coffee. And I suppose there is another option, you can continue to voice your opinion about how you are “sick of hearing about Lebron James” or whatever the latest trending topic is…but I promise you, that you tweeting that is at least, of equal annoyance. And I can also promise you this, if you do continue to voice your opinion about how “you can’t stand talking about Lebron James, when there are puppies that need new homes or when the economy is so bad,” just know that next time you tweet about how “hot you are”, or “what song is playing on the radio” or whatever “cute thing your cat just did”, I may not through it in your face, but I will be on the other end of this computer judging you.