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Monday, 11 December 2017

Why I Avoid Voicing My Opinion Online

I have a lot of opinions.
I have opinions on politics, news, food, religion and pretty much everything.

That's because I'm human and humans form opinions - whether they like it or not.
We are complex characters and sometimes this can cause conflicts of interest.
Not everyone agrees with the way that you think, the way that you view things or even if the taste of liquorice is nice or not (it's not)
That's because we're all different.
Here's why I avoid voicing my opinions online and for that matter, offline aswell.

I generally avoid conflict when and where I can. It's a slice of effort that I don't want in my day if I can avoid it. I am a sensitive person at heart - despite what my exterior, 'bite me' daily expression portrays. I have always had strong opinions and some I choose to voice (calmly) and others I don't. I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I don't like it when opinions turn into a battle.

Online there are many things that are controversial. That's partly why the platform is so successful. There's always something to grab someone's interest. There are discussion forums that are questionable, news articles that spark outrage and opinion pieces that get people raging and ready for an online dispute. Personally, I'd rather watch 'Gilmore Girls' and move on. There are a few things that I have learnt after being on the Internet for quite some time;

1. Keyboard warriors 

I personally experienced this myself. Once upon a time, I tagged my sister in an article about the TV show 13 Reasons Why. The article was about how people had copied the storyline of the suicide and used it as a method for their own suicide. I commented that it was a reason why I didn't personally agree with the show entirely. My comment was a simple tag and a small comment for my sister to see. However, I quickly learnt that I should have private messaged her the link rather than publicly tagging her in it. Because, what came next was a comment from a guy that thought I was a muggle and questioned my opinion aggresively.

My reaction?
I deleted my comment. 

 Firstly, butt out and secondly - let me be. His response to my comment was posted within a matter of seconds after I published it. I felt like he was sat at his laptop waiting for someone to say something in agreement with the article and pounce.

Cool, enjoy your day - goodnight.

I don't want to immerse this post into an opinion piece on the show 13 Reasons Why. I thought the show was great but it also effected people around me that suffered with mental health in a negative way. It was a triggering show whilst also being an eye-opener and having its positives. It was marmite. It was a great book and a great TV show but maybe not everyone should've watched it on such an accessible platform. I mean, I hope that comment there won't spark outrage. I'm Switzerland, people! (Not really...but let me rest.)

I just don't want a sparring match with you. I am great at debates but I will never get into one online. There are trolls, nasty words thrown around and people that are far too willing to send you hate mail or worse.

2. You can never win 

Everyone secretly likes a little bit of Drama - as long as they're not involved. However, you get the odd balls that LOVE Drama and they love causing it. I personally have seen a lot of comments on Facebook and online turning into blazing arguments between multiple opponents. They are people that have generally never met. Two people arguing online usually turns into a whole army of oppositions that get involved. I must admit, I sometimes find it hilarious to scroll through. Some people just want a healthy debate and a little chit chat but there are others whose opinions must be agreed with (in their opinion at least). I think what these people don't realise is - you cannot win. There is absolutely no way that there can be harmony with everyone's opinions. You'd think that human nature would let some peace ride on this earth but sadly not.

3. It's time consuming 

I have laundry to do!

4. Do I even know what I'm talking about? 

A lot of the time we can form opinions and not be educated or knowledgable enough on the subject to backup our opinion in detail. The people who are sparring online will often have a plethora of knowledge on the subject they are rumbling about. Sure, they could be Googling it but sometimes Google can lie. Wiki 'ain't that reliable people! If I ever talk about something, I want to get the right end of the stick. I especially avoid politics for this reason. I could wake up tomorrow and be behind on the politics of my country.

5. Can we just be friends? 

I am quite a chilled person. I do not care for a dispute with someone. People can get dramatic. There are all sorts of 'reporting' and 'blocking' incidences and that's negative energy! I would rather cuddle my dogs and have better vibes in my life.

That being said, I am not a complete mouse. I will in some cases express my opinion gently and in person. I am opinionated. I say it how it is but I am also aware that the cookie crumbles differently for everyone.

Please no hate comments - that would be ironic...thank you very much.


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Is 'Adulting' Even A Thing?

When I was younger, I used to look at older people and think that they really had it together.

'They know what they're doing', I would think to myself. 

I think I got this allusion because it's generally our elders that tell us what direction we should go in life. They tell us off when we do something unconventional and generally lay the law down while they're dressed in something plain and sensible. However, as I have grown older - I have realised that no one knows truly what they are doing with their lives. I have also come to realise that I am, for now - better off being a younger version of myself. I have got Peter Pan syndrome - I do not wish to grow up (as fast as I am anyway!).  

When I thought about being a twenty-something as a little teenager, I imagined that I would be a third year University student. I thought I would be slaving away at something very intellectual and impressive. I envisaged getting ready to be a first class lawyer, writer or whatever my heart desired. Well, this was the first thing that I got wrong. I guess that I couldn't see beyond the school walls.
I hadn't yet been able to explore my spontaneous side. I was doing my 8AM-3PM school day and was obsessing over my grades. I was the perfect student (if I don't say so myself). I always organised my planner so that I knew what pieces of homework needed to be done and by when. I knew exactly how to plan my life. My uniform was always ironed, shoes always polished and my hair was neatly pinned back. I also LOVED planning my life. This didn't just include academic planning - social too. I loved packing my calendar with things to do.

Queue the first major lesson learnt from my adulting...

The best laid plans are NOT planned! 

This lesson was major and it was the hardest one for me to accept. I spent a year and a half trying to plan my life when I really needed to just 'ride the wave' of life. I have learnt that not every moment of your life can be planned to a 'T'. We can try and plan and stay organised. We can make goals and try to achieve them but the least you expect - the better. That was no supposed to sound quite as 'Debby Downer' as it translated.... Reach for the stars, strive for your dreams but just realise that sometimes you won't always know how to get there until you've accidentally come across the path. It's like when you're single and looking for a partner on a night never happens. You are trying too hard. Chances are you will probably meet a frog, spend a couple of month with them and realise that they aren't your cup of tea and you've just wasted months of your life tying to force something.. Maybe just wait until you bump into the partner of your dreams at your local grocery store - do not plan your fairytale just have faith that it will happen! The same thing applies to life in general!

I did not plan earlier this year, to be where I am today, doing the job that I am doing. It is a dream to be working where I am and I am beyond happy that my path has led me here. However, when I was younger - my job now was a 'dream' rather than my 'practical plan'. I'm not complaining! My wishful job application led me to my dream - who could plan for such a thing to work out?! Well, I mean you could but still.... If I could see myself now as a naive teenager - I would not be disappointed!!

Another thing that I have learnt growing up is that there is no uniform way to 'grow up'..You just sort of have to 'wing it'. You never get to an age and think, 'ah yes - I am now grown up'. You keep on learning in life. You keep finding out what works and what doesn't and you go on an emotional rollercoasters to get there. There are guidelines put in place by society which go something like this;

(the order below is interchangeable and of course summarised and on the whole - inaccurate and super generalised!)

Baby days - lounging and pooping (blissful and forgotten by all but our parents)
Part-time job optional
Boyfriend/Girlfriend (or crying about why you don't have either) optional
Further education optional
Marriage optional
Babies optional 
Die (soz)

When looking at a timeline of life it can seem somewhat depressing. 
'Is that it?'.
Well, basically - pretty much! 
But - it doesn't have to be because LIFE'S WHAT YOU MAKE IT, SO LET'S MAKE IT ROCK! There was a slight Hannah Montana reference there for any old, early 2000's, Disney Channel viewers...welcome...

This is the second lesson as an adulting specimen that I have learnt. 
Any situation you don't like - you can change it! 

If you don't like your job - change it. 
If you don't like where you live - move. 
If you want roast potatoes for dinner every day - make it (or get Deliveroo). 

Of course, there are situations that you cannot change but they will often teach you lessons of a different kind. A major lesson that I have learnt is to take life by the reigns - like Santa with his reindeer - sway that sleigh. Do I even make sense in my blog posts anymore... For a long time, I was scared of spontaneous change and going in the opposite direction from everyone around me. Little did I know that it would work massively in my favour.

At twenty years of age, I have moved house twice within the space of three months. The very first house that I decided to rent with my boyfriend - I didn't like. In fact, I hated it (and for good reason). So, I changed it! It's not easy to break the mould (ironic use of words here) and more specifically a housing contract but your life is in your own hands!   


Age is just a number. This is lesson three!

This lesson came with leaping into the workplace straight after finishing school. I was suddenly on equal level with people who were 'old'. Before leaving school, I only really knew people my age. Fast-forward to the present day, I have a 47 year old friend (and no, it's not creepy), we are friends! I am working with people who are 30+ and we are all level with each other. Sure, they have more experience under their belts but with age comes more experience. Something that I find bizarre is how some people view age as such a massive issue - still to this day. Of course, if you're viewing it in regards to 'relatioships' then I do understand that there are lines and boundaries. However, I have been asked countless times while in a workplace, 'how old are you?'. Because I skipped the 'uni thing', people assumed I was either older than I was or thought I looked too young to be in the position that I am in in work. I reveal my age..cue the 'oh god - I feel sooooo old now!', said by a thirty-something. Sometimes followed by, 'you must think we are so old!'. News flash - I don't even think about it. 

People who are older generally have more experience and can often pass down bitesize nuggets of wisdom. I have found this invaluable at work. But, as I have grown older, I have stopped viewing 'adults' as mysterious, older creatures. Maybe it's because I am growing into an older creature slowly...or maybe it's because their secrets are revealed.

Age is just a number..
Adults can be childish...
Peter Pan can come back from Neverland because 'adulting' isn't really all that bad. Quite frankly, I'm not even convinced that it's even is 'a thing'...

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