Online opinions aren’t worth the hassle

THIS POST was going to be another whinge about another Daily Mail story (specifically one about how Zara Phillips hasn’t lost her baby weight as quickly as Kate Middleton. I mean, seriously) but I think I’m flogging a bit of a dead horse with this. I get hit by a wave of Mail Rage (as I’m officially calling it) and I see red for about 600 words, so I’ve decided to take the high road and not dedicate any of my time to thinking about, or linking to, the Daily Mail.

Instead, I’ve decided to write a bit about opinions online. Now, I love a good opinion as much as the next person. I would describe myself as opinionated, but then again I would describe everyone as opinionated, because everybody has a view on *something*.

However, I’m finding more and more these days that I’m just not voicing my opinion as much as I used to. The main reason behind this is that I can’t be arsed to deal with the flack that often comes with posting a slightly controversial tweet, or making a sarcastic comment that people with no sense of humour or irony think is a serious observation. It’s just easier not to post anything.

People take umbrage with so many different things online these days it’s hard to post anything that someone won’t take personally. It’s not that I particularly give a crap about what strangers think of me online, it’s more to do with that fact that I don’t want some idiot, who knows nothing about me or my life, making the kind of comments that stick in your head and make you feel a bit rubbish for the rest of the day.

If you are one of those people that likes to kick off regularly about people’s spelling errors, of the way they choose to live their lives, could you maybe just stop for a bit? I often read things online which I think are brilliantly written, and then I happen to catch a couple of the comments, which are inevitably about the author’s size, or the way they have chosen to go about their subject matter, and it makes me want to kick things.

I see posts and comments on Twitter on daily basis about being nicer to people, whether someone’s dedicated an entire blog post to it, or it’s just an inspirational quote, it seems that everyone wants those snarky, usually anonymous commenters to go away. There doesn’t seem to be any point though, as it’s an issue that goes around in circles. The internet is a place for people to voice their opinions, which is fine, until people are total dicks to each other, and then it’s a constant stream of angry and upset people who want some sort of system in place to police it. It’s just not possible.

So is there ever going to be peace online? I’d like to point out that I’m not against people having the right to voice their opinions, I love a healthy debate as much as the next person, but when you’re arguments are based on minimal information, or you think that calling someone ‘fat’ or ‘stupid’ is ok, then I’m afraid I think you’re a bit of an arsehole.

I wouldn’t be totally against a law that decreed that everyone should have to go outside for at least an hour every day, that way the people who sit on their computers all day might actually get a little bit of perspective on how important their opinions actually are.

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Iona St Joseph

Written by Iona St Joseph

PR exec who likes finding funnies and cool stuff online. Print journalism graduate.

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