Why You Shouldn't Feel Pressured To Have A Political Say Online
Karen Jane Ng
It's already a common scene to find political figures on the hot seat of the internet, causing debate and divide among netizens. While we admire those individuals who bravely put out there opinions on every online platform, with a goal of either just letting out their frustration or enlightening those they deem still kept in the dark, we believe that it's also worth respecting those who choose to stay mum, at least for now.
Having no say on the discourse doesn't mean being apolitical nor apathetic. And if you're one of those people, that's just fine. You shouldn't feel any pressure to talk as much as those around you, and they have no right to force you to. Here's why:
1. You wouldn't want to act on impulse. If the situation angers you, channel your maturity, and deliberate not once but twice: Is this hasty reaction what you want to put on the record? Why not cool down first and speak when you're ready to construct a stance like a responsible grown-up? Venting on the internet isn't always the solution.
2. You have to understand the whole picture. One major cause of a political argument is taking sides. But before you even try to pick yours and clash with the other, the most important and initial thing that you have to do first is to get to the bottom of the story to make sure that you're on the right track. And if rebutted, you can defend it with conviction, not doubt.
3. You're not indebted to follow others. It's the same as not being born to please everybody. If you aren't the social media kind of person or you don't feel like offering your views online, then feel free not to. Allow yourself to deal with the circumstances according to your will, even it's through silence. There are other ways you can help your nation after all.
4. You have to look after your mental health. You might be that person who feels anxious posting anything online, sometimes even just liking or sharing a meme. Yep, that feeling exists, and it's nothing to be taken for granted. So don't push yourself to do things you're not used to doing because it'll only endanger your mental health. We already know how hard going into the day is with that condition, we wouldn't want to make it worse.
5. You can always have a private discourse with people that you trust. Just because you don't say it in public, it doesn't mean that you don't have a say at all. If you're not comfortable posting your opinions for everyone to see, then you can release your sentiments by having a more substantial conversation with people you respect and respect you. Even in private, you can still allow yourself to educate and be educated.
Everyone has their own way of coping with things. Some opt to speak and fight, others just settle on keeping it to themselves and taking some space. Whatever way the people around you go for, regardless if it's against your standpoint, let's make sure we give them this one thing: Respect.