Forget the media: get your own opinion

Ryan R. Murtos

The importance of being able to have an opinion seems trivial to people, like myself, who have grown up in the United States or another country that shares similar civil rights. However, in many countries, people’s opinions cannot be openly voiced and in some cases you can be imprisoned or even put to death for having an opinion that is different from the opinion that is expressed by the ruling power of a nation.

Being able to have an opinion is a right handed down to you as a resident of the United States. This right is undeniable. This means it cannot be taken away from you. Since we have this society of “free thinkers” you would think that there would be a plethora of different opinions. This, however, is not the case.

Although the U.S. is one of the most diverse societies in the world, there are normally only a few opinions, on many subjects, that are dominant in the mainstream.

Is this because we are all on the same page when it comes to our view of society? This explanation could not be further from the truth.

The reason why there are not that many opinions in the mainstream society is simply because the lack of understanding or knowledge of a subject.

It has become easier to let the media, politicians, and celebrities form our opinions for us. We believe what these people say. We trust that the facts that they are giving us as the gospel, and we never once question their words. We regurgitate what is reported to us as if there is no hidden agenda behind their words, and in turn we spread these opinions that are not ours. This, of course, contradicts the idea that we are in fact “free thinkers.”

So I defy every person who reads this article to start fresh. Start to form your own opinions and find your own facts. Next time some VJ on MTV feeds you their totally non-expert opinion on a presidential candidate, turn around and do some research and form your own opinion. I think that you will be surprised to find that your opinion will differ from theirs.

The next time some egotistical actor who thinks that they have all the answers (because they saw them in a documentary) steps forward to endorse a cause, question whether this person may just be a puppet for a cause that they know nothing about. I am not bashing anyone in particular, I am simply saying that these should not be the source of your opinions and facts. We have a unique opportunity as students to talk to one another to find out our many differing opinions and open our minds to new ways of thinking. It seems a shame to waste something that is so invaluable to our diversity as the future leaders of the world. Do you want your life dictated by another person’s ideals, or your own? This is your decision to make.

This, of course, may not be your opinion on the subject of opinions. You may think that this article in and of itself is a contradiction to what I am trying to say. If either of the preceding statements are true, then there is hope for the future.