Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dealing With Others' P.O.V.


Social media is without a doubt one thing that our society has brought to the forefront in the last few years! From Facebook, to Instagram to Twitter, we are constantly giving the world access to what is going on in our lives. For the most part, this type of access can be a positive way to get to know the lives of our loved ones, friends, and even celebrities. However, I have noticed that the negative aspects of social media are just as strong as the positive. Specifically, I have noticed the backlash of people posting their point of view (P.O.V.) online and the enormous amounts of negativity that they receive just for sharing what is on their heart.

I experienced this myself when I wrote a Facebook status a couple of years ago about a pretty significant trial that was going on in our country. I did not take sides on the issue, but simply wrote how I felt with the decision that had been made. What is interesting was through all the “likes” and positive messages that I received from it, one person wrote a very disrespectful message on my post and stated “I am now going to defriend you”. This was not really a person I knew, so the fact that she was going to “defriend” me was not a worry to me. However, I was surprised by how she became so upset with a comment that had no sentiments of judgement or negativity in it. I am so careful about what I post online, that I made sure this particular post would not offend anyone. What I realized is that some people are just not going to respect your point of view. We were all given brains to be able to think for ourselves. Because of this, we are not always going to agree with what someone has to say. However, I do believe in respecting people and their opinions. There is always the option to agree to disagree. By no means do I think it is appropriate to voice opinions that are discriminatory, hateful, or full of prejudice. But with that off the table, I do think that people should be able to share their point of view without feeling as though they are going to be punished for it. There have been many times where I have read or heard comments made by people and disagreed with what they said, but unless I was able to respectfully disagree with them, then I either kept my mouth shut or kept scrolling down the page. At the end of the day, it is how that person feels and it is their opinion. AND. IT. IS. OK.

My hope is that we can continue to be respectful of ourselves and of others so that no one feels as though they can’t share what is on their heart.

Continuing to break the stigma,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015

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