Why I’m scared to express my opinion online

bang on style debs

I can’t think of a more appropriate day than today to talk about sharing opinions. But this post isn’t just about political opinions it’s about opinions in general why I’ve become afraid to share mine on social media.

 I’d say I’m quite an opinionated person in real life. Forthright about things and quite happy to be vocal, but I’ll be honest I don’t express my true opinion about many things online and most especially on Twitter.

Why?

The fact is if you share your opinion online, especially somewhere like Twitter you have to be ready for someone to disagree with you. Its guaranteed. There’s always someone who will try and tweet louder than you and let’s be honest 140 characters isn’t enough to accurately express anyone’s opinion in full, neither can you ever really ascertain tone of voice. You’ll find very quickly tons other people jumping on the outraged bandwagon and before you can say pitchfork, there’s a whole queue of people waiting to tell you why your wrong.

The moral is, if you’re going to share your opinion be ready for a comeback because on Twitter there is ALWAYS drama!

We have to remember that opinions are just that, opinions. Everyone is entitled to one and though those people that speak theirs are pretty brave, people that try and ram their own views down other people’s throat or gang up against one person’s opinions, I just can’t agree with.

Take for example the Sarah Ashcroft drama. Now unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that Sarah did an interview with Cosmo that quite a few bloggers took offence to. So, here’s opinion of mine number one. Ignoring the complete hash that Cosmo made of the whole thing and please remembering that print can ALWAYS twist what’s being said with the simplest use of the wrong word – she was right. Not everything she said and certainly not the way it was put across, but some of what she said was bang on. There are a lot of bloggers, the market IS over saturated and to stand out or be taken seriously you have to be doing something different.  But my god did she get blasted for this article. And that’s fine, like she’s entitled to have an opinion so are other people. But seeing the number of people @ing her and being pretty personal and mean was too much for me. I’ll be honest, I felt for the girl. She admitted that it was a dream come true to be interviewed by Cosmo and I felt sorry that on the receiving end of all the controversy, all the awful tweets was one 22-year-old girl. If you saw a girl cornered by 30 other girls in the street, would you go and help? I’d like to think I’d try, but online I was terrified. I didn’t tweet my support or in fact share any opinions at all because I was too scared of the comeback. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve read a couple of posts/tweet threads that rationally and reasonably explain why as a follower and newer blogger they felt let down by Sarah’s comments and again I appreciate these opinions and feelings and respect the way they’ve been expressed, but sadly that wasn’t the way everyone went about it.

On the rare occasion, I have expressed a strong opinion like last week when I tweeted that I’m not a fan of bloggers who are baring more and more cleavage on Instagram, I unwittingly found myself a) possibly offending a friend of mine and b) caught in an awkward @ reply exchange about surprise surprise Sarah Ashcroft again. Thanks to Twitters new reply system this is happening way too often where you get caught in the middle of a 100-long tweet conversation because your tagged in every reply. I have to say on this occasion I did tweet and said please don’t tag me in personal tweets against her as I felt she’d had a crap enough week and I didn’t want to be associated with these kinds of sentiments. But later, after sharing my honest thoughts about boobs on instagram I felt a wave of panic all evening. Panicking that I was going to get backlash, panicking that I’d have to face a twitter storm in the morning. The fact is I stand by this opinion, but it wasn’t a personal attack. Yes, it means I unfollow accounts on insta if that’s their vibe as it’s not really my cup of tea, or if they are a friend I just don’t like those photos, but would I start trying to convince them not to do it? No, because it’s their space on the internet to do with what they wish and after all its only MY opinion.

No doubt the Twittersphere will be awash with people’s opinions about the election today, but again I don’t think I’m going to be expressing mine. A friend who was brave enough to insta story and tweet yesterday that she was voting conservative got a barrage of tweet replies/ insta DM’s trying to explain to her why her choice was wrong. Ok so she’s not voting the same way as me, but it’s not my job to convince her or change her opinion. She has her own. It’s an educated one that she’s made after a great deal of consideration and for me that’s what matters. Take the time to make an opinion and stand by it, don’t be swayed. A confession? Last election I voted for who my husband advised me to.  I know awful!!! But I believed it just mattered that I voted. This time round I’ve done my own research and made up my own mind about who I’m voting for and it looks like we’ll be voting differently from each other. Ok that’s hard, but it’s his opinion and in the same way he’s entitled to his vote, he’s entitled to his opinion too. But this post isn’t to weigh into a whole political debate, there’s enough of that around.

So, I’ve been afraid. Afraid to say what I really think online. Afraid I might lose followers or readers and I worry that it’s made me hold back a lot of my personality. Ok so I don’t want to share EVERYTHING about myself but I do respect bloggers like Hayley and Hannah who just tell it like it is. I hope I’ll become braver to speak out, especially about things that are important to me, but I still think I’ll shy away from wading into Twitter drama. Life is too short to spend your life arguing online but here’s hoping you will like seeing a slightly more opinionated side of me.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this subject? Are you open and honest online or do you shy away from being opinionated like me?

I’d also love to know if you like these more rambley style written posts too?

Let me know ALL your opinions in the comments box below or tweet me over on Twitter.

Debs

12 Comments

  1. June 8, 2017 / 8:49 am

    Just RT this but had to come and comment too. I wholeheartedly agree with what you said. I’ve found that the blogger community on Twitter have become SO ready for a witch hunt and it actually puts me off wanting to meet more bloggers in real life. Granted, it’s not just bloggers but I’ve found negative tweets from the community have started saturating my feed. In a world where everyone is just dying to be offended, I’m a ‘live and let live’ kind of girl, and I won’t be sharing my political opinions on Twitter for the same reasons as you. Well done for sharing your reasons why!

  2. June 8, 2017 / 8:52 am

    I barely share my opinion online to. I used to all of the time, when I was younger and my opinions were much more uneducated and honestly, I lost friends over it. I was an idiot, and it soon made me realise that airing my opinions just isn’t always worth it. Yes, I’m opinionated, and yes, I like to voice them, but I love my friends more and hate to upset them. Life’s too short to be arguing over opposing opinions all the time, so I choose to keep my opinions to myself.

  3. June 8, 2017 / 9:12 am

    I totally agree with you too! I actually wrote something similar last month about how I’m sometimes too nervous to make conversation with people or ask questions for the fear of offending them accidentally or something being taken the wrong way. I would never intentionally cause offense to anyone but sometimes in life I do say stuff and think “that came out wrong!” and it would be nice to feel confident that people would laugh about it with me, rather than jump on it like a pack of wolves.

    Also with my blog posts I find myself coming up with an idea which is personal to me but fear my views or opinions would be ridiculed because it’s not always HAPPY HAPPY, LIFE’S SO PERFECT.

    http://www.thatsjustspiffy.com/single-post/2017/05/10/Is-Political-Correctness-Creating-More-Fear-Than-Freedom

  4. June 8, 2017 / 10:19 am

    I really enjoyed reading this. I kept thinking about all the spats on Twitter too and how there is a real person in the middle of it all, and they might be feeling pretty rubbish right now and can’t get across what they meant, or defend themselves. Sure, sometimes people do and say things that are truly offensive or harmful, in which case report and block, but if it’s just a difference of opinion, then by all means unfollow if you want to, that’s the beauty of Twitter you can follow and unfollow whoever you want.

  5. June 8, 2017 / 10:39 am

    Numerous times I’ve tweeted something opinionated and deleted the tweet instantly. Not that I’m scared of voicing my opinion as such, but I think I’ve realised that Twitter might not be the place for it. The online arguments are awful and I’d hate to be worrying about people’s responses all night and quite frankly, why should I be worrying about them anyway? I chose not to share anything “argumentative” as such on Twitter as I’d rather have a conversation with a few close friends or blogger pals if it’s a blogger-related topic. People will always twist your 140 characters on Twitter and it’s going to impact on your state of mind, not theirs. It’s a really tricky one isn’t it? I guess we either share the opinion ONLY without having the conversation with others OR we start the conversation and be prepared for all the negativity. I chose neither as none have proved beneficial for my sanity :) xx

    Tatyana x
    LAFOTKA
    http://www.lafotka.com

  6. June 8, 2017 / 10:48 am

    “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
    – Steve Jobs.

  7. June 8, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    I was pretty outraged with some of the lashback against Sarah, disagree with her – fine. But the personal attacks were SO uncalled for. Awesome post as per usual Deborah. I love your opinion pieces, you should do more of them!

    Millie

  8. June 8, 2017 / 6:38 pm

    Like you I am opinionated in real life but shy away from online debate. I don’t mind a conversation with other bloggers but it’s the real trolls out there who scare me.

  9. June 8, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    I have so many opinions, but I made the mistake of sharing an opinion in 2009 and was ripped apart for it. Never again!

  10. June 8, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    I love this article and I love reading more rambley style posts. I have seen this happen in facebook makeup groups too, everyone is very quick to jump straight into the arguement if they dont agree. I am not sure they would do it in real life. There is so much of this ‘online drama’ going on it is really hard for people just to be nice, scroll on past if the do not like what they see. I feel like people are just too aggressive sometimes.

  11. June 8, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    *I’ll comment here, cause I’m too afraid to command on Twitter.
    I’m IsraelI, that means before I open my mouth people already have opinions about me. I experienced it all the time when I was traveling. People have a lot to say to me about what’s right and wrong, usually basing their knowledge the headlines that make it to the front pages. Truth is, I was raised in the diverse Galilee far away from those front pages. My parents thought me to belive in peace and respect different belifes. I see a different side of Israel than the one others see in the news – a very complex situation with two bad sides and two good sides. Both with people in it. But no one cares, right? They know all about me before I speak. They don’t want to talk with me about coffee or trips or dresses, they just want to confront me.
    That’s devastating.
    I got used to hiding behind the American accent I got during my family’s relocation. But in Twitter the location is written right on the top of the page.
    I hate the fact I couldn’t post my consoldents when the terror attack happened in Manchester. I tried, but it was immediately linked to the fact I’m Israeli, there for a hate promoter and someone you can trash guilt free.
    I totally get what you say about opinions, and the amount of hate I see online sometimes scares me.

  12. Caroline
    June 12, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    Debs, this is a great post.
    I’ve wanted to write something similar myself many times before, but always thought against it.
    Like you, I am pretty opinionated and vocal about it, once you get to know me, however, this isn’t really a trait you see on social channels much, for exactly the same reason.. the backlash. I’m always game for a good conversation on different views, but I tap out when it becomes aggressive or personal and that seems to be the only way most people on twitter express themselves.
    You should never be afraid to express your opinion, I believe it’s just about how you do.

    Caroline.x
    http://www.carolineelgeywhite.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *