It’s just my opinion

September 14, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

“But that’s just me.”

That’s what my older brother usually says after giving his opinion – or rant – on a subject, what he would do or should be done. Whether it be some sort of topic or something in the news. We usually say that’s his famous quote and say it to each other after saying we’re going to do something, or give our own opinion. Usually, it brings a laugh from us as it’s a big inside quote/joke for us to readily identify with and making a small thing blown up into a bigger deal.

Opinions are something we deal with constantly, every single day. We get them from friends, family, coworkers, advertising in goods and services, experts on the subject or industry, and just about anywhere, from anyone. 

Opinions make us individuals, help make form us a species, and a society. How we make friends, make enemies, bond more with certain people than others. An opinion is a double-edged sword.

It can bring good things, a healthy discussion or debate, or can bring evil. Dictatorships, polarization, manipulation, and a cult of personality, to name a few.

Just put two people in a room and see what happens. They can be best friends or arch-enemies. Or, hopefully, something a bit more in between. It can’t all just be sunshine and rainbows. But it can’t always be a dark cloud as well. Opinions help shape decision-making, the very essence of democracy. If we’d all just agree, it’s either a dictatorship or a stagnated democracy. Certain types of conflict can be good and lead to change for the better. 

In today’s world, it can be hard to form your opinion, because we’re bombarded with so many other’s. It can be very annoying when someone just gives their opinion for no other reason.

“I don’t care what they think. Your opinion doesn’t matter.” That’s a usual response to someone giving their two cents, and to a degree, it is true. Sometimes we really don’t care and just ignore that person’s opinion. But other times we do care. We value an opinion because it’s engrained into us as human beings. We care about others, want to feel connected, part of a group, like we belong to something. 

Why are YouTubers/Podcasters so popular? Because we want to hear what someone has to think about a topic: movies, video games, shows, reviews, anything. Especially if there’s a group of them discussing to see the different opinions.

When you see someone’s rankings list, and it differs from you. We want to know why their opinion is different than our own. Their reasoning behind it. Other times it’s nice to someone else’s opinion line up with yours. Again, that connection. Other times, their opinion is in the complete opposite direction of yours. And it’s interesting to hear their opinion, especially when it falls in line with your views, but for different reasons. For example, you both have the same favourite show, but for different reasons. That’s an interesting opinion angle to view and discuss. 

Most YouTubers state either at the beginning or end of their list with “it’s just my opinion,” as a way to prepare viewers in case of any disagreement. A way of saying it’s just a fun thing they thought of talking about. 

And from my experience, a lot of times it is. Not really something to be taken seriously. And that’s the problem with being attached so heavily to your opinions. You can’t reason with  someone else’s view, their rigidness. It starts feeling personal, when in reality, it’s not. You feel you’re disagreeing heavily with a content creator and feel it’s personal?; it’s not. Just enjoy it or move on. Your subjective opinion is not objectively the right or best one.

The biggest problem with opinions is that they change. Consistently. Sometimes, on a whim it becomes difficult to form a connection with someone, or you’re so comfortable with sharing that common ground that when the other person’s opinion does change, it’s difficult to adjust and accept it. Too much and too little change is not good.

A movie you watched as a kid isn’t the same anymore as an adult, and you no longer like it. Or a type of food you reviled so much growing up, suddenly is your biggest appetite. Opinions will always change.

And, of course, being given a platform. That’s the most important element of an opinion. Do you just rant without giving reasoning or explanation? Freedom of speech is necessary, so long as it doesn’t infringe on others’ freedom of speech. That’s the most dangerous area of an opinion for sure. Strike a balance. Your opinion may be the centre of your universe, but it’s not for others. There are over seven billion other opinions out in the world. Don’t rely entirely on your opinion, but don’t also be influenced too much by others.

Opinions are never going away. For better or worse, there is an inherent need and want for them. Probably why you’ve read this column.

But that’s just me.

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