Home > Sociology > Thoughts on Interaction, and People; Can’t we celebrate our different opinions?

Thoughts on Interaction, and People; Can’t we celebrate our different opinions?

Over the last week I have added a few new faces to my social networking circles. Some have been really great, and some have been a nuisance, but every single person has 1 thing in common; the chance meeting was based on a decision. Some of the times it was my decision to join a new networking site, or my decision to send an invite on Twitter. Some of the times it was their decision to send a request on Facebook, or to buy my shares on Empire Avenue, or even to turn their friend adding bot on that morning, but every time there was a concious decision to connect.

I for one like to put differences aside in the spirit of celebrating our common interests. You are a liberal democrat who borders on communism? That is great, communism is a good idea in theory but works like a ship made out of lead when ut to use. I’m a registered democrat who hates the party because of their ulterior motives and self rightousness and wish I had never registered to vote at all, nice to meet you let’s talk about sports. I will find a way to agree with you whether it’s on Peyton Manning or Reggie Bush there, and there is no use for me to try to change your mind that was made long ago.

I also have found a recent calling to defend my opinions when they are called out. Since I write for Yahoo!, this happens more than I would like, but I only respond to intelligent discourse, or at least someone who has attempted to offer an intelligent alternative, unless it is blatant trolling. This is the Internet, if you cannot put up with other people disagreeing with you, you should never put an opinion out online. I feel sorry for the kid who started a blog because he thought he would get a bunch of fans who think the same way as he does. I find that a lor of readers read something simply because it conflicts with their own opinion, and that peaks their interest much more than something they agree with. They already know why they agree with it, but they honestly don’t know why someone would hold another opinion.

With both those facts being presented, I also feel like if we can be friends despite our differences, or even because of them, that we can accomplish so much more than people who are so much alike that we can never find something to disagree on. I also now have the chance to change your opinion slowly about my opinion, and you have that same chance. An inherited belief that you have held your whole life isn’t going to change because I wrote a dissenting article on a website that you think has terrible news commentary to begin with, but if you spend months or years experiencing my side of the story through me, and you put aside your initial bias because you’re now working with someone you have a lot in common with despite the few differences, you are going to see me side of the argument clearer.

After enlightenment comes understanding. After understanding comes reconciliation, and after reconciliation comes compromise. Now when the bias is gone and we have both learned every basic fact from both sides of the proverbial aisle, odds are we are going to find a lot to agree about on a subject we could have initially come to blows over. I have saw it happen too many times folks, and I feel like an angel never gets the chance to get it’s wings each and every time a potential friend denies a possible relationship just because they wear a red shirt and I wear the blue. Can you imagine how the bloods and crips felt?

This type of thinking can be extended to everything; religion, morals, beliefs, background, first impressions and faults. If I post a slightly questionable picture that I thought was humorous, but you think is offensive, itt is certainly no reason to delet me from your friend list and hold a grudge the rest of your life. If you let me know you find it offensive and aren’t pretentous in your approach, I will likely offer you a personal apology and rectify the picture. I’ll also keep in mind that I have a friend that finds certain things offensive that several others do not, and since there is one person who disagrees on a deeper level than opinion, I’ll probably skip the upload next time if I’m not entirely sure. But you are wrong this time, where is the compromise and understanding in that? All I want you to understand is that I am sympathetic to your beliefs,but if you think your beliefs are right and everyone else’s are wrong, you will never be right, and you ren’t going to do well in a time when you can’t afford to be segregated to the small group of people who totally agree with you on every single issue 100% of the time.


There are also 2 case studies I would like to mention, not really concerning what I’ve just posted, but pertinent to the ideas none the less. A man who I will leave unnamed has been harrassing me perpetually since I started my Empire Avenue account. He bought 20 shares of my stock the first day, and has left 4 messages on my wall since then after I bought back 10 mind you saying that it was time for each of us to start buying more and he wanted to grow together and suggested I buy more of his shares. As my share price approached his he made one last plea, was worded like this”Lets Go Up to 200/200 or Lets Go Out Adam . I’m Trying to Build with Folks that hold and Grow to 500/500 Levels . Small [Less than 200 not worth the Work “. Now I don’t play EA to buy back every share for share, this guy seemed like a very conniving individual. He has the same approach to everyone with a lower share price. His idea is that if he buys you at 40 and you buy him at 80, he comes out 2 times ahead. I took this last attempt as extortion, and I replied in kind (very graciously however). I told him that I had 200 other shareholders who had bought 200 shares of my stock, they had better dividends, and they were more relevant to my work on the Internet than a realtor who lives hundreds of miles away. I let him know that I played Empire Avenue to make connections on other platforms with like minded people, and that since he wanted to threaten to sell my stock if I didn’t comply with his ultimatum that it was time to “Go out” as he put it, and that we were obviously not “like minded” as I put it. I wished him good luck in his investments and extortion attempts, and a good day. I had a few other things to take care of, but I fully intended on selling off his 10 shares, but when I returned I realize he had blocked me (and no doubt had removed my comment). I didn’t get a chance to sell his shares, so I don’t know what become of them, but I think that his little buy back game represents the things that are wrong with Empire Avenue, and somewhat the things that are wrong with Internet interactivity at large. I subscribed to Omar Habayeb’s school of thought: There should be no quid pro quo. I want to buy you if you have Divs over .32 (which is the minimum for him to get anything), and you are not required to buy back my shares if I decide to buy you. It’s a game anyway, why would you want to block me? Was I that spot on, or was it because you were afraid I shined a light on your dirt, and other shareholders were going to see where not to step?

Another encounter that led me to question the logic of one of my connections came when I posted a humorous image earlier today. It had an opinion on it, which was supposed to be representative of a whole group. Now I didn’t expect the reaction from my friend, but she had been accused of being pretentious and conceited with a holier than thou strut by others before, and I actually told her harassers that maybe they didn’t understand her intent. Anyway, she took offense to the fact that someone would speak for a large group of people (even though the thoughts were accurate as a generalization, I checked some statistics, they didn’t match her opinion). She called the person who made the image a twit, and let out a short rant filled with supposition about what kind of person does such a thing as was represented in the picture (which was a joke in the first place). Needless to say, I swallowed a brick as I thought back to the day that I told a large group of colleagues that her magnanimus exit from a group complete with I’m better than you remarks that was totally unnecessary was in fact taken out of context by dissenters, and that in my opinion she was just a little uppity but didn’t mean to seem so conceited. I actually chalk a lot of things up to what psychologists call bi-polar disorder, but what I call the human envy and opinion paradox. I first thought that maybe it was a manic deppressive lapse in her judgement, but then I realized I had neither the basis of information to make that call, or to suggest that she mas misunderstood months ago. Am I the one who jumps at the chance to make suppositions? After all, isn’t that what I’m doing right now? Is the inability to ask yourself that question a major flaw of Internet socialization and interactivity? Yes, I would say it is. Is anyone going to be more thoughtful the next time they spout their mouth off about something they know little, or even admit to the fact that they might only know a little about it? Yeah, that’s funny…. why don’t we go ask Occupy Wall Street how many Economics degrees are in the bunch of them?

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