Jesse Harrison Lowe questions why we are so quick to jump to conclusions
As a society, we seem to love our own opinions.
For the almost twenty years have I been alive, I feel as if I have spent it almost entirely surrounded by people whose initial response to anything, is to provide their off the cuff and ill-informed opinion. It appears that these people are far more likely to use phrases such as “this is the worst thing ever”, or an equally over dramatic description of anything that doesn’t go their way. To put an example to this hypothetical argument, my housemate recently told me that an advert he had recently seen was “the worst advert he had ever seen”. It wasn’t. Of course it wasn’t. Neither were the ten previous “worst adverts” he had seen. Statements like these make me ask myself why is it that comments like this are jettisoned around without so much as a second thought. I get the impression however, that there is a link between these two schools of thought. I cannot help but feel that those people who weigh in with their opinion, despite knowing nothing of the subject, are the same ones who are overly hyperbolic in everything they do.
I want to know why it is that so many of us are happy to throw around grandiose claims, and weigh into arguments we know nothing about. Why is it that some of us abandon all information and reason, in place of raw gut emotion which typically leads to some form of exaggerated statement?
“Why is it that some of us abandon all information and reason, in place of raw gut emotion which typically leads to some form of exaggerated statement?”
Is the media who we need to blame? Do major red top outlets subconsciously promote this nature of heightened drama in our everyday lives? Media outlets are the first ones to jump on a story, often over dramatising and exaggerating it to beyond the point of any logical reason. As a result, we (the public) absorb this melodramatic approach to life. For example, The Sun recently ran an article on their website shaming “Troubled Celebrity Big Brother star Marco” for drinking a bottle of wine at a bus stop in central London. As the media names, shames and creates stories out of nothing, I get the impression that our society attempts to mimic them. Surely this can only be to a disadvantage to our community. In place of sound reason and consideration, we only see dramatic outbursts as soon as we set eyes on something which is a little out of the ordinary. Whilst I am not accusing the readers of these certain types of newspapers of intentionally creating this type of society, I am asking if the content which these papers create drives this mind set into the readers subconscious.
Whilst many members of the public are quick to dive into an argument, with the recent Brexit debates springing to mind, I get the impression that the level of understanding is perhaps not as high as it might need to be, in order to engage in time worthy conversation. This makes me constantly ponder why it is that these people feel the need to open their mouths in the first place. It makes little sense to me to enter a shouting match about a subject I know nothing about. Upon watching these uninformed squabbles unfold, I wonder why it is that these people argue with such passion and fury over something which they usually have no understanding of. As a generation, we are arguably the most educated of any previous one, mostly down to the impact of the internet. It strikes me that there is no excuse for misinformation, as a quick google search will usually settle any qualms. If someone wants to argue about something, it could not be simpler to gain access to stats and facts about almost anything.
“Rather than wade in to a debate over the views of teenagers on the structural integrity of Kim Kardashian’s backside (real or not), I would much prefer to do a little research beforehand”
Personally, I prefer to take a step back. Before wading into a debate, I would rather know all the facts and evaluate all the different points of view, before finally coming to a decision on where I stand. Rather than wade into a debate over the views of teenagers on the structural integrity of Kim Kardashian’s backside (real or not), I would much prefer to do a little research beforehand.
While this means that I may not always follow my head or heart, and that I let logic guide me rather than pure emotion, there is beauty in my madness. I would much rather be able to formulate my own opinion, using facts and reason, in order to get my point across in a rational way. At this point, I would like to suggest that I am by no means attempting to boast that my way of doing things is superior and we should all be like me; a world full of people like me would be a horrifically boring place to be.
I instead would like to imagine that this article has, in some way, garnered a little emotion. If it’s good or bad, positive or negative, I do not mind. I would like to think that I have described someone you know and if I have, I would like to think that I have made some kind of impact on the way you see them. I would understand that some may feel inclined to write me off as a pretentious writer who seeks to condemn the masses. Before you begin slagging me off over the internet, take a second to put down your copy of the Daily Mail and the next time you dive into an argument, have a quick google before you make yourself look like a fool.