The Land of Opinions

(and why, no matter how much you disagree or don't like them, it remains imperative that they be given the right to exist)

The internet is one of my favourite places in the world, but it's also one of the most deceiving places. There is no real need to be honest on the Internet. People don't need to know your name, how you look, where you live, or your family status. You can be whoever you want to be and with that comes amazing potential; with that comes dangerous lies. We all know stories of people lying on the internet and the dangers they pose from illicit photographs to fraud. 

I'm not talking about that. 

The most wondrous thing about the internet is that it's a place that doesn't exist at all. It's a beautiful world of ideas, sometimes with no substance. A land of mixed thoughts, concepts, opinions. Anyone can have an opinion on the Internet. You can even have an idea without even existing. Anonymous commentators, or people like me with aliases are very common. 

The Internet is built on this foundation of ideas. Blogs such as this one don't exist unless someone designs the beautiful template; until some person decides, "I'm going to have a blog that I will post on about this particular subject."

The ideas presented are often insubstantial. I don't pretend that the entire world cares about my opinion about one book. I don't expect to change anyone's life with my posts. The biggest thing I can provide, as someone sharing an idea, is influence. Maybe I can influence you to buy a certain book. Pick up something from the library. Like a cover.

At the end of the day, I don't expect to have a strong influence because as much as I blog to be heard, I mostly blog to figure out the thoughts in my head. Nobody should ever take any post of mine without a grain of salt. Opinions are fluid and ever changing. 3 stars one day is 2 another. People strive for consistency and objectivity but we're subjective people. 

As a blogger, I deal with opinions. I write my opinions on books. I often wonder why I do this; does it really matter in life how I feel about a certain book? Or does it matter to anyone else but me? If you truly want to read a book, you'll go out and read it no matter what I say because you know we have different preferences. My opinion has some value, but not too much. 

So why is this different for authority figures? Why is it that amateur bloggers build a foundation and following on opinions but it's unheard of for authors to do the same?

I've read many posts about how authors should keep their thoughts to themselves. In a way, it makes sense. Authors should be wary of doing reviews or writing negative opinions on other authors' books because of the burned bridges it may cause within their profession. They're too close to it and so it may hurt them. 

On the other hand, an author's trade is their way with words. Their stories. If they feel a certain way about a controversial issue and they end up insulting some people in the process... well, that was rude. But who really cares? It's just an opinion. It's important to note that I'm talking about opinions; true, personal beliefs. I'm not talking about random or intentional personal attacks. 

Having a larger following doesn't always lend validity to someone's opinion. I don't like the saying either that more should be expected from people with larger followings. Most Internet followings can be undone rather quickly, with the click of a mouse. The only obligation I believe anyone has, especially in a world of ideas and opinions, is to stay true to themselves. There are ways to phrase these harsh opinions better, but is that necessary? 

It's common courtesy to remain euphemistic, but that doesn't always make the world better. I was born in one culture and I moved away and currently live in another. I know of two different standards. One culture focuses much more on wordplay; on appearances. In the culture I live in, there's much more honesty. Maybe people aren't as civil towards one another, but at the end of the day you don't have as many suspicions in the honesty of a person's words and actions. 

Why do people try to police the Internet into becoming somewhere where only accepted, 'nice' opinions matter? I don't understand the double standard between someone like me being able to post what I like and someone well known being able to post whatever they like. In the end, people are people and everyone is allowed to have an opinion. You can hate their opinion and have a negative opinion about their negative opinion, but having an opinion is nothing wrong. Posting this opinion on a public area isn't wrong too. 

I feel like, if you were to read an opinion you disagree with by someone of authority, maybe an author if we were to take this in a bookish context, rather than talk about why this person isn't supposed to or allowed to write about their opinion, why not discuss it?

The internet is a highway of discussions between posters, individuals, etc. You're not going to always like what you find but you can't get mad at it for existing. Why don't you try to understand it? Why not open a discussion about this controversy instead of attacking the fact that someone posted something stupid. 

The most important freedom people have is their freedom to think. In section 2b of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it says:
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
This is the most essential freedom, in my opinion. We've all read those creepy dystopias where no one is allowed to think differently; we've all participated in the debates on YA censorship (#yasaves). Nothing is ever going to work out ideally. I don't think it's reasonable to expect the entire internet to diverge their opinions in the kindest, least offensive way. So either we try to stop people from posting what we consider rude, or we accept that we'll find crap everywhere we look. If it's going to bother us, don't look at it. There's a lot of awesome stuff on the Internet so why focus on this idiot giving a stupid opinion. 

Let them have their opinions. Expect the best from yourself, and the people you have an influence on; your friends and family. If you find an opinion you don't like, maybe the best way to act is to ignore it, or discuss it. Don't focus on its existence, focus on its meaning and if it's offensive, maybe you can help the person realize why you think what they said was wrong. 


If you don't like something, explain it. Talk about why you think it's wrong. Don't just attack or condemn. Reason. It's something I want to work on too. If we can talk about the hard issues, we get closer to solving them.



  1. Thanks for your calm and reasoned thoughts about this issue-I hope people keep these in mind the next time a contentious issue crops up.

    1. Thanks. This post was incredibly long and rambly, so it means a lot that someone cared to read it in its entirety.


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