There are a lot of hot button topics today — topics that get people really riled up like immigration, gun control, health care, and foreign policy. But what is it that makes hot button topics so… hot? Sensitivity. Which is to say people’s reactions to these talking points.
Too many people are too sensitive to opinions other than their own.
It’s one thing to be passionate about a hot button topic, or any topic really, and to disagree with someone about it; but it’s another thing entirely to ignore facts and refuse to hear the other side(s) of an issue.
Everyone has an opinion and that has always been the case. That’s not the root of the sensitivity issue, though; the way that people express their opinions is.
The conduit of this issue: social media.
Social media has made it easier than ever to start a conversation, debate, or forum. And when used properly, social media can be an effective platform for healthy discussion. When used improperly, however, it can become a hotbed for hatred and repulsive behaviors.
The mudslinging and bullying on social media today is a clear example of this. Everyone seems to be being dubbed either a “Trump supporter” or a “stupid liberal” simply for feeling differently than others about any given political issue.
Social media and major news networks aren’t helping put an end to it, either. They make it seem as though there’s no one in the middle, no voice of reason. And those on opposing sides of the spectrum are too busy fighting with each other and among themselves that the voices of the people who are the focus of hot button topics aren’t being heard.
Sensitivity goes beyond the political realm.
“Everyone’s just offending so many people without thinking of how others are feeling or how the person [they’re speaking to] will take it,” An Caye Perreras, a freshman at Carson’s Academy of Education and Empowerment said.
If no consideration is shown toward the individuals we’re discussing and/or working with, then the cycle of negativity perpetuates itself.
“We’re spreading so much hate rather positivity that everyone basically hates each other now,” Perreras said.
No one should be babied, however. It’s important that respect isn’t taken too far. Once individuals stop allowing their peers to disagree with them or forbid them from saying things that may be “offensive,” then political correctness ceases to fulfill its purpose. At that point it would be bastardized into an unrealistic, childlike fantasy.
Not everyone is respectful. Not every important, mature topic can be discussed without veering outside of political correctness.
The best way to solve the issue of sensitivity is to begin the process of understanding, understanding and accepting the points of view of others. Now that doesn’t mean agreeing with others’ views. It doesn’t even mean liking the proponents of said views. It simply means that their points should be heard, and that the individuals presenting those view should be respected.
“There’s nothing to do but have [representatives from] both sides [of an issue] sit down and have a conversation without arguing,” Academy of Medical Arts junior Jocelle Cendana said.
With a change in attitude and an open mind, the most complex of issues can be sorted through, the most strained relationships can be mended, and the stigma of an entire generation can be removed.