No offence

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Let’s have a chat without getting our knickers in a knot.

In the age of the internet, open comment boards and endless access to information, we began a new age of what I call oversensitive internet gnomes.

Those who get offended easily always existed; now, they’ve been given a new platform.

Unfortunately, these people aren’t a novelty — everyone seems to be offended, all the time, online. Everyone’s perception of unfairness or slight has been heightened.

Passion and opinions are welcomed, of course, but the problem is that we aren’t actually listening to each other.

Let’s all take a step back and hear each other out — sometimes, you may find something valid in someone else’s argument or stance.

I’m not saying a racist or otherwise offensive comment is okay if you can develop some justification for it — it’s not. But we should respect other’s opinions and learn from one another.

Before you make a fervent comment online, read through something all the way and try to understand where other people are coming from.

If an opinion is wrong or unfair, you have a right to be offended, but let’s respond in a composed and educated fashion. If you don’t agree, then go ahead and argue your case, but in a civilized manner.

Too often I see internet commenters attacking each other based on buzzwords that don’t represent a complete argument.

Maybe someone misspells something, or they make a mistake of fact. To err is human, right?

So, relax. Don’t jump down each other’s throats. I don’t want to be choked into a silence.

Everyone’s opinions should be heard whether you think they’re ridiculous or not — a reasonable discussion might be what sparks change or more educated decision-making.

Sure, we all get crazy sometimes — I’m definitely a high-strung individual — but we need to try our best to foster better communication.

Let’s resolve to make progress through listening, not just talking.

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