Let’s agree to disagree

Lately this little blog has really started gaining momentum – the further it reaches, the more people are expressing their opinions on my opinions – getting involved with debates and really awesome, thought-provoking discussions.

And that’s an amazing thing.

But what strikes me as odd is how people who disagree with things that I post fall into two camps:

Camp one is full of aggressive, angry people who can’t cope with the idea that someone might think differently to them. They get angry and defensive the moment they see a thought that isn’t theirs. Their feelings are usually expressed in expletives. Their comments are never published.

Camp two is full of people who have something to say but are really, really sorry about it. No sooner have they pressed publish than I receive an apologetic email or tweet, usually along the lines of “I hope I haven’t offended you…” Sometimes they’ll let me know they wanted to comment but that they didn’t agree with me.

Candy necklace smile in scrabble letters confetti hearts - Darling Lovely Life blog - Let's agree to disagree

Smile – debate is a good thing

So, folks, why is it that we’ve lost the ability to constructively disagree? Both camps have somewhat extreme reactions to a debate about some abstract concept but they have one thing in comment: they both think that to disagree is an inherently bad thing. The only difference between them, really, is entitlement. The angry comments come from people who think that they’re right and everyone else is wrong – the apologetic comments are usually the other way around.

Look, there are some things I won’t tolerate on my little corner of the Internet. I won’t put up with discrimination of any kind – take any racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic (or any other kind of phobic – unless it’s something like spiders or water, that’s fine) thoughts somewhere else. I won’t put up with sweary, rude comments because they’re just unpleasant and add nothing to the conversation at hand.

BUT if I write a post about something and you disagree, you can say so! I won’t hate you, I won’t blacklist you, I may vehemently disagree back, but at the end of it I’ll still like you. I’ll still promote your stuff if it’s fab, I’ll still welcome you back with open arms, because I didn’t write the post so that everyone would pat me on the head and tell me how clever I am.

I wrote the post so that people can really discuss and get to grips with the issue involved, so that people frame things in a way that nobody else had thought of before. Every time someone disagrees with me, it makes me think – and a lot of the time I learn something new from it. Maybe I don’t change my perspective the whole time but your thoughts challenge me – and give me a more rounded perspective.

In short, if I only wanted to know people who agreed with everything I said, I’d pretty much only be friends with myself.

So this is an invitation to disagree with things that I say and think of it as spirited and interesting debate, not a nerve-wracking experience. I’d love for more people to get involved, comment and share your thoughts because they’re just as valid as everyone else’s! Don’t be shy! Let’s agree to disagree. 

4 Comments on Let’s agree to disagree

  1. Nikki @KnotsAndKisses
    June 3, 2014 at 11:07 am (3 years ago)

    Haha .. I think I might fall into camp two ;-) I will promise not to apologise for disagreeing in the future .. my other half is always telling me off for saying sorry constantly! x

    Reply
  2. Samantha
    June 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm (3 years ago)

    Totally agree love ;)

    Reply
  3. Sarah
    June 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm (3 years ago)

    I think it comes down to several reasons – 1. That the internet is more anonymous than real life and there’s a risk of trolling, some of it quite nasty. 2. Our society is very PC now and a consequence of that is that we’re scared of offending anyone and 3. If we’re on social media to promote our brands we want to protect those brands because if we do voice an opinion online we have to be face issues 1&2 and risk damaging the brand. For example, if I put on my twitter feed “loooving my rare steak right now. So glad I’m not a sucky quinoa eating vegetarian!!!” That immediately offends and alienates vegetarians and then they would be less likely to book me to photograph their wedding, plus I’d be seen as opinionated and obnoxious.

    I did feel a little shame last weekend when the yesallwomen hashtag was trending, as I really wanted to show support but didn’t want to get harangued and sent obscene tweets and death threats, which a lot of posters reported as receiving. I know life isn’t all vanilla ombré frosting and pink peonies, but if you’re online due to business then you really have to think before you write something that could come back to haunt you later.

    Ps: no vegetarians or quinoa were harmed during the making of this post

    Reply
    • Sara - Darling Lovely Life editor
      June 4, 2014 at 8:33 am (3 years ago)

      Haha yeah I totally get that, I think that’s a big part of it. But, for example, a lot of these opinions are fairly innocuous. ALSO I agree that brands shouldn’t be offensive or rude towards groups of people but also think that your brand has to have a personality. For example, Lush often gets behind causes. The animal testing awareness stuff is great and other stuff I don’t always agree with BUT I think it’s really cool that they’re a brand trying to be more than just a vehicle to sell products. Similarly I’ve seen clothing brand that make a feminist statement, or brands in the States making pro-equality statements and I always admire and respect it. I think our brands lead our culture in a big way so I reckon it’s time for business owners to be brave and get off the fence. As a wedding photographer, if you put your personality and beliefs out there in a positive way, for every couple you’ll put off, you’ll attract another likeminded couple who’s far more likely to book you :) Just my two cents. And thanks for sparing the vegetarians, we have a tough enough time without things like iron and Nandos ;) xx

      Reply

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