News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

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People are too opinionated (an opinion piece)

Graphic by Colette Hale

People can argue over anything — whether the dress was black and blue or gold and white, whether you should sleep with or without socks on, or things more radical such as whether abortion should be legal. It is in human nature to formulate opinions on things, and when challenged, to defend them. 

“When I go on the attack, my opponents either shut down or fight back harder. On more than one occasion, I’ve been called a ‘logic bully,’” reporter Adam Grant wrote in “The Science of Reasoning With Unreasonable People,” a New York Times article.

It is when the defense is less about the topic itself, and more about preserving your ego, that it becomes irrational and unnecessary. When that happens, and a person will not accept their opinion being incorrect, the person simply no longer deserves to have opinions at all.

When someone links their opinion with something involving being in control, it just gets all too serious. When they are challenged, their claim changes to being reliant on their need to be right, rather than on logic. If you can’t acknowledge you are wrong, your opinion may be too strong and you become naive. 

“If someone isn’t listening to my reasoning in an argument, it makes me think they just aren’t educated, and don’t have the capacity to see the issue from another perspective,” Tamalpais High School psychology student Lily Hayes said. 

Imagine a discussion in which the other person suddenly becomes excessively into it, and starts yelling that, no, the dress was in fact black and blue. The dress that caused this argument was a picture posted online of a dress that somehow looked like it had blue and black stripes to some, but to others, gold and white. When they are yelling at you as if you just did the worst thing humanly possible, simply because you expressed an opinion that is different from theirs, the trend becomes out of hand. This clash of both correct opinions is blatantly unnecessary. 

“If I have a reasonable explanation for our argument, like something that would settle the problem, and the person just won’t listen to simple facts, it just ruins the mood. A fun debate turns into some yelling match,” Tam psychology student Charlotte Callagy said.   

How do people get to this stage of being so defiant about their thoughts? 

“They may be insecure: trying to use their opinions to get validation they’ve never had, to make people like them,” says, a well known online news source. 

Another way is an internet echo chamber. An echo chamber is a page of the internet, where “almost anyone can quickly find like-minded people and perspectives via social media and countless news sources,” the nonprofit online teaching organization CF Global wrote. It hammers down people’s ideas, and makes them even more defiant to outside information. 

The internet allows people to get sucked into a bubble of people who agree with them,  enforcing opinions that they might have. Just like with the dress, black and blue or white and gold, the internet has the ability to create groups of people who all believe the same thing, and further despise the people on the opposing side. Additionally, this makes people too confident, resulting in a lack of open mindedness.

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