Stop and Listen | Teen Ink

Stop and Listen

March 21, 2016
By Sharkbait SILVER, Grant Park, Illinois
Sharkbait SILVER, Grant Park, Illinois
8 articles 1 photo 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."
-Anne Frank

You know what I hate about this election? No, it’s not the candidates. Sure, I’m not exactly excited with my choices, but that doesn’t bother me that much. Honestly, I haven’t ever liked my choices. What bothers me is the voters this time around. That might include you.

Do you know why? Because not every Trump supporter is a racist. Not every Clinton follower is a life-long feminist. Not every Sanders supporter is a poor greedy college student. And yet, you have people freaking out over every little thing that doesn’t share the same opinion they have. People are losing friendships and even family over an opinion. Opinions are different for every person, so why do we have to insult every last person who doesn’t agree with us? That would leave every single person in charge of their own country. Would that work very well? Hell no. Last time I checked this is a free country. That means we have freedom of our own opinions. Oh, and it being a ‘free country’ doesn’t mean we can do ‘whatever we want’. There are laws for a reason. If people could do ‘whatever they want’, shoplifters would be ecstatic, as well as murderers, drug lords, and rapists. No, being in a free country doesn’t give you the right to smoke or drink underage. It’s a law, just like NOT murdering, raping, or stealing… I got off track. Taking away someone else’s right of speech can only result in the loss of free speech altogether.

I’m getting pretty tired of seeing posts like, “Wow, thanks Trump for showing me who my racist Facebook friends are! Now I can get rid of them forever!” or “Glad to clear my life of all the feminists! Can’t believe I was friends with them at all!” Guess what? You probably have other friends who support them and just don’t say anything. Are you going to go through each of your friends and make sure they have the same opinion as you? No. That would be stupid. Also, do you know why each of those ‘feminists’ or ‘racists’ supported their candidate? Probably not. Because it’s on Facebook, which means, obviously, they are full-blown ‘for the cause’ supporters. Maybe consider talking, in person, to your friend to see why they said what they said. Maybe they were being sarcastic, or annoyed at people not allowing their opinions to be stated, or maybe they accidentally hit a ‘like’ button. Maybe they are exactly what you think they are, but it’s likely not the case. Lots of what happens online only happens because people are more confident behind their computer screen. It’s the same with you and me. Do you think I would be saying this if I wasn’t in the safety of my own home? No, I don’t think fast enough. If you don’t agree with me, would you yell at my face? Or do you feel more comfortable writing a nasty remark on twitter with a hashtag and something related to this post? You don’t see people out on the street screaming at each other over a stupid text message or a picture on Instagram. Probably because they’re too busy insulting people they haven’t ever talked to over a post they didn’t read fully because they ‘don’t have time’ because they’re too busy insulting other people over Facebook. 

Do you remember in elementary school when you had to choose between playing tag and duck-duck-goose? How much do you think people would like you if you decided friendships based on the opinions of which one each of the kids wanted to play? You probably would end up with no friends. Nobody likes a snob.

I mean, at the rate this is going, no matter what the outcome is, we’re going to end up with a civil war or something. All because people can’t shut up and listen for once. We’re all talking endlessly, trying to convince those trying to convince us, bashing those who are bashing us, unfriending those who are unfriending us. And what does that accomplish? Not ‘The United States of America’, that’s for sure.

I’m not asking anyone to change their opinions. I’m not saying we should stop fighting for what we think is right. I just think we need to procced doing such more respectably. I feel like it could be so much more effective if we could stop categorizing people as racists and feminists and poor and hypocrites and just have opinions and talk about them. Maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t expect. Maybe you can make this election successful. But only if you do it right.

The author's comments:

I hope no one takes this the wrong way, it just is so annoying to me to see people fighting online about candidates. I mean... an opinion shouldn't determine everything about a person. 

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