Cultural Musings · Open Letters · Reflections

Contrasting Opinions in Media: an Appeal for Constructive Arguments

The social pressure amongst friends to agree about everything is almost all encompassing. When you are in a group of friends who are excitedly talking about their favorite TV show, book, or franchise, it is heavily discouraged to mention how much you don’t give a shit about that thing.

I will admit to being on both sides of this situation, both being bored and letting someone else be bored. It happens so often that I sometimes don’t even realize how bored my friend is getting when I start geeking out about It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Anime.

The worst part is how much I WISH I loved the thing that my friends love.

I WANT to love Five Seconds of Summer. I WANT to love The Office. I WANT to love Love, Actually. I REALLY WISH I liked Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl half-time show. If I liked these things, I would be able to have so many more conversations with my friends, and I wouldn’t have to sit on the sidelines pouting. And if I pipe in that we should talk about something else, it often doesn’t go well. And I get it. No one wants to have their parade rained on when they’re on a roll. I’m just as guilty.

Basically, what everyone (myself included) needs to do is be more accepting of constructive argumentation when this situation comes up. You might say “Why do I have to defend Love, Actually? Can’t I just enjoy what I enjoy?” But being more open to discussion (with the foreknowledge that no one is attacking anyone) generates more thought provoking conversation, and allows everyone to be involved. Everyone in the group may love Game of Thrones, but when the conversation shifts to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, encourage the vampire hater to have a discussion about the pros and cons of the series.

This doesn’t need to happen 100% of the time, but any increase would do a huge amount to help your friends who happen to disagree with you.  This can’t solve every situation, but it’s a start.

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