Contributor: Rick McGimpsey
A few days ago I was scrolling down the page of a geek-forum on Facebook when I found something worth commenting on. The great thing about forums with over 6500 members is that you are bound to find someone who has something interesting to say. After wading through the Guardians of the Galaxy reviews, Batman memes, action figure collection photos, and cosplay pics of questionable virtue I found a photo of the cast from The Big Bang Theory. Above the photo, the poster typed, “Who here likes the Big Bang Theory?”
I saw that a few people had already commented with the typical responses, “I do” or “Hell, yeah!” and so I offered my own contribution by writing that I disliked the show. A few more people came afterword to say they also liked the show while others said they shared the same dislike as I did. The fact is the forum I belong to is evenly divided about the show and when it is ever brought up half the group will support it while the other half expresses hatred. I (with no shame whatsoever) belong to the latter half. I think the show is stupid and offensive to real geeks everywhere.
But the Big Bang Theory being popular of course led the original poster to ask why we disliked the show. I believe he was just curious and not looking for a fight so I answered him plainly but politely. The responses from the other commenters (fans and haters alike) were equally cordial. There was never a moment in the thread when a member was hostile. The discussion was surprisingly friendly to the end.
So when I wrote an additional comment I was surprised when it didn’t send. At first I was confused thinking Facebook was malfunctioning again. But after repeated attempts I realised I could not comment any further because the original poster deleted his post.
I was disturbed by his actions and gave the matter some thought in which I came to the conclusion that he deleted the post because he was hoping for support and validation when all he got instead were the very honest opinions of the commenters. The poster apparently was not used to the critical eye of internet scrutiny and a few people disagreeing with him was enough to make him back down and run.
The point that I am making is that this incident displays a common problem many people nowadays have that needs to be addressed. Too often people cannot stand up for their opinions because the opposition they know will come intimidates them.
Fitting in is important to most human beings and having an unpopular opinion is not a good way to do so. It’s easy to mimic and echo the crowd while keeping more eccentric qualities undercover. The accidental revelation of unpopular opinions is an unforgivable faux pas to those who only speak and act to impress others.
I despise the Big Bang Theory but I do not like seeing another person cower because of it. I believe that if someone has an opinion and they express it then they should live with it.
It’s a guarantee that if you decide to become an active participant on social media, blogs, or Youtube you will meet people who don’t like what you have to say and will gladly let you know. So what then should you do?
Live with it. Own it. And welcome to the Internet!
I can respect a person for having an opinion I don’t agree with. What I don’t respect is crowd-pleasing. As someone who aspires to be a writer and an active member of the internet-community I have come to terms with the fact that people are gonna despise what I do. I learned not to give a shit. And neither should anyone else.