The Oversensitivity Overkill
Diversity of thought is being slowly snuffed out
Is our society becoming too sensitive day by day? From our culture, political correctness, religious beliefs, to what we eat or do or wear, people have actually gone mad and become sensitive to the power of irrationality. From social media to everyday life and everywhere in between, diversity of thought is being slowly snuffed out.
We all have a right to free speech, albeit with limits. But it appears that problems start whenever that free speech is exercised to say something unpopular. In a bid to create an increasingly tolerant society, are we in some ways becoming less tolerant to divergent voices? And is this really a bad thing?
If it feels like political correctness is an ever-expanding concept, then it might also be a deeply unpopular one. Among the general population, 80% believe that "political correctness is a problem in our country". Even young people are uncomfortable with it. On this particular issue, the 'woke' are in a clear minority across all ages.
Youth isn't a good proxy for support of political correctness, and it turns out race isn't either. We may feel that insisting upon an increasingly politically correct society is a good way of protecting those who have historically been oppressed or subject to greater disadvantage, but according to research, this may not always be the reality. It seems that most people in today's world are offended by something or the other, whether it be something political, a religious belief, some random movie or even a schoolbook.
People who inhabit social media are a great example. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, are laden with people attempting to find an issue with something that does not exist. However, the subject of sensitivity is difficult to tackle, because what makes anyone the judge of what you can or cannot be sensitive about? There is a saying: Good morning. Welcome to social media! Give it a few minutes and very soon someone or the other will disagree with you and within seconds the start of a full blown war of words. Boom! And minutes later, it goes viral.
Here is the thing: Sensitivity, if given a suitable reason, is understandable and easy enough to accept. For example, before films with explicit content, such as a rape or suicide, a scene that might trigger an individual due to a past incident in their life is a logical explanation for being sensitive about a certain film. It is a completely different thing to protest the showing of a movie because you specifically are offended by it and its contents, no matter the important lessons it aims to teach.
This is true for even children and young adult literature. Many renowned authors who have written excellent and inspiring books filled with exceptional themes, lovable characters and a captivating plot, have had their best-selling books banned from schools due to their graphic text and mature themes. Many classic novels have reshaped the imagination, but were once banned because of their content. If students cannot learn, through school-assigned literature, these valuable lessons that might move them in positive ways, how else will they learn them?
Certainly not in entertainment, as movies and OTT platforms are also chastised for being too honest. Any form of art must always be kept in a safe and special place. The art in which dramatic performers act with flair to express what are often unbelievable stories, where playwrights are free to compose the most magnificent scripts that may contain the juiciest topics of today, from race to politics, homosexuality, gentrification and suicide.
Our thoughts and ideas are a form of expression. Though everyone would like to be safe, life is not filled with seat belts or helmets or knee pads. There are bumps and gashes that everyone must go through, and when you suffer them, you learn and you feel—that is the point of being alive.
While we're on the topic, let's move on to political correctness. Nowadays it appears that if anyone goes against a popular opinion, they are the enemy. Say a person leans neither Right nor Left, and have views from both sides, taking a moderate stance on many important issues, such as abortion, gay marriage, immigrants and education. No matter one's belief, there will always be someone there to counter their stance, thus putting them in the position of being insulted for believing their own ideas.
I'm sorry, but whatever happened to freedom of speech? Are people not allowed to have a difference of opinion? Now, as I said earlier, if someone is offended by what one person has said, a respectful conversation should ensue as to why that is. Otherwise, disparaging someone's opinions because they do not match your own is unfair, rude and distasteful.
Oversensitivity is a sentiment that most people run into regularly nowadays, especially on social media, and this hypersensitive mindset is good for nothing but resentment and anger. Calm down, recognize that everyone has different beliefs and stop getting so upset about nothing.