To Those Social Justice Warriors…

Are you someone who feels strongly about things that flaunt our lives as a new and young generation? Do you find yourself frequenting LGBTQ+ pages on various social medias, or reading articles on equality in your spare time? Or maybe you’re the exact opposite — someone who disagrees with it entirely? Well, if so, you might have very strong feelings when it comes to these kinds of topics. And I’ve got some tips and tricks for expressing these emotions, without offending anyone. 

Now, before we start, I’d just like to say that these are my opinions, and it’s not guaranteed that you won’t offend people if you abide by every point. People literally get offended by anything, and these are just some issues I see when it comes to people expressing their voices on social medias.

Firstly, one subtle thing you can start with saying is ‘in my opinion‘ or ‘from my perspective’; something of that sort. It tells other people that you’re not stating the truth, you’re not writing facts (even if you may think you are…) and that you are simply stating your opinion. This tactic is great because nobody can argue your opinion. They can’t tell you what you do or don’t believe because they don’t live inside your mind. And on top of that, technically, you can’t get offended by someone’s opinion. It’s their belief; they have a right to it just as much as you do.

Secondly, try not to get angry with people who do have different beliefs than you. Just today, I was visiting an LGBTQ+ blog, and people were ganging up on each other like packs of wolves in the comments section because they had different opinions on the meaning of the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’. Obviously you can imagine how it went down; I was witnessing World War III right before my eyes! I will say this again and again, please don’t attack someone if they have different opinions than you. Don’t call them close minded; close mindedness is the inability to accept and be open about different ideas and beliefs! Which is exactly what you’re demonstrating by not being able to simply agree to disagree. People are brought up differently, and although I am fully supportive of society becoming more open about these topics, we need to recognize that some people still don’t agree with it. So instead of attacking them for it, why don’t we try to teach them calmly? They’re far more likely to become accepting if we act mature and informed, rather than barbaric.

Thirdly, don’t be afraid to own up to it if you do accidentally offend someone. If someone responds to one of your comments saying they’ve been offended, you’re just going to have to own up to it and apologize. Try not to get too defensive; you may accidentally say something more to offend them. Instead, say something like ‘I’m sorry to offend you, I really didn’t mean it. This is just my opinion.’ That way they see that you’re going to be respectful of them even though you come from a different viewpoint, and hopefully will respond in the same like as you are.

Can you guess what this is a picture of? Some people might be able to, and while that’s great, someone might not agree. We all have different thoughts on the background of this picture, when it was taken, what it’s of, etc. But the point is, are we going to judge people for that? I think each story should be appreciated no matter what — no one should be put down for thinking it’s a mailbox rather than the bottom of a wooden swing, should they?

 

Lastly, it’s highly possible that you’re someone who doesn’t agree with or support LGBTQ+ rights, and therefore are just clobbered by people who do every time you express your opinion. And although I completely disagree with it, I’m going to show you some ways to gently place an argument on the ground, instead of getting the strings of the parachute all tangled. If someone follows up to your comment by being derogatory, it may be hard to remain calm and peaceful when responding. You may want to take a step back from your electronic device, and come back to it when you feel less hurt. Then, you can easily respond with something along the lines of ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you or anyone else and I was simply stating my viewpoint. There’s no need to get into an argument about it; I recognize and value your opinion even though I don’t necessarily agree with it.’ This statement shows them that you don’t want to start a fight, and that you still see where they’re coming from. After that, they can’t throw much else in your face because you haven’t said anything to put anyone down. And if they do say something really nasty, there’s always the report option to get their comment removed if you find yourself personally attacked.

Those are just some things I see people doing wrong when discussing their opinion about debatable topics online. The most important thing to remember is that people are always going to have different opinions than you. Whether you’re supportive or not of LGBTQ+ rights, we still have to recognize people’s beliefs and value them, even if we aren’t exactly in agreement. That’s really all you need to remember when debating any topic on social media and should help you get out, or stay out, of any sticky situations when it comes to it. Thanks for reading!

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