It’s Time to Rethink Your Opinions
Written by Maureen Lynch
You know how you read criticism pieces or watch reviews on a movie or video game you really like? Half the time when I read or watch that content, I think to myself, “These people are doing a great job of analyzing and defining problems with this piece of media. I wish everyone did this.”
Maybe I’m just weird, but I like hearing people’s opinions about stuff. I think it’s fascinating to watch video essays on my favorite books or movies and see what could have been better. However, it took me a while to find people that I liked to listen to because most commentators do not have well formed arguments.
This got me thinking, what makes a good criticism or opinion piece. Why do I find only specific types of criticism appealing? So I decided to think about it. And that thought process turned into this article!
Now more than ever, people can post their opinions about anything they want. According to lifehack.org, criticism helps you grow through forcing you to examine your weaknesses. This is why we get feedback on our essays or projects. Personally, I think criticism is useful, to a point. However, there are several instances where I don’t think opinions are valid or should be shared. In my opinion:
- Opinions should only be shared if they are helpful.
I don’t believe an opinion is valid unless the person giving it has good intentions. If you post a comment, make a video, or write an article that’s only purpose is to hurt the creator, you have no business sharing it with everyone. Because let’s be honest, people who do post nasty criticism only do it for themselves, not out of any care for the individual they are criticizing. They do it for entertainment, for notoriety, or for slander. Not to say that someone cannot post material like this, but that they should know going into their essay that it is not valid, and they should not expect a creator to take them seriously.
- Opinions should only be shared if they are constructive.
This ties to number one, but I don’t think any opinion is valid unless it is providing feedback. If you want to tell me that you think my writing is bad, that’s fine, but you should be able to tell me why in a constructive manner. Give me specific details and explain why these details matter. According to inc.com, being straightforward and specific allows for a creator to understand what exactly needs to be improved in their work. Broad statements kill a creator’s motivation and doesn’t provide criticism.
- Opinions should only be given when appropriate.
This is sort of obvious, but unless I invite you to give your opinion, I don’t care about what you think. That may sound harsh, but think about it, unsolicited opinions are the worst. According to asana.com, criticism that comes out of “left field it can be frustrating, overwhelming, and make the person feel personally attacked.” Opinions should not just be shouted out whenever you feel like it. They will not be taken well if they are not significant to the conversation.
- Being overly harsh ruins the message.
Again, this one seems obvious, but if you are going to share your opinion by throwing around obscenities and shouting at the top of your lungs, people will not think you should be taken seriously. Being overly zealous or angry will not make your words more impactful, they will deaden their message. I will care more about your opinion if it is not written in all caps.
Maybe you agree with me, maybe you don’t, but I reserve the write whether to care. Everyone should keep this in mind when you share an opinion. If the subject of your rant video doesn’t want to listen to your critique, that is perfectly okay.
I wanted to write this article in part because I like criticism content and in part because I think it’s important to outline my thoughts on the subject for readers, so when I criticize things, you have an idea of what is going on in my brain when I sit down to type.
I encourage everyone to share with me their thoughts on my opinions on all articles I write. I think it’s important to start conversations, and opinions are a great way to get the ball rolling. That’s why I write for the opinion column! So, comment down below.