Opinions. Oh, opinions. Everyone has one. Most people love to give them.
It used to be that an opinion was somewhat of a commodity. Before the internet (oh my gosh do I sound old or what?), opinions came from "credible sources." Whether that be in a newspaper, on a news broadcast, in a magazine, an opinion in media was at least LESS rare than it is now. This made hearing opinions kind of interesting, and it also caused people to kind of trust opinions of credible critics. Some people even made their livelihoods on being a critic (and some still do).
These days, anyone with internet access and a social media account can tell the world what they think of anything and everything. There are reviews enough to drown yourself in if you feel like it. There are stars being flung back and forth faster than ninjas throw shuriken. News articles or opinion pieces get shared faster than people can fact check. Stuff goes viral, which is a rather disturbing term if you really think about it. Before you can even see an episode of your favorite show, people a few time zones ahead will be telling you how they felt about the show and possibly spoiling it for you.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm kind of on opinion overload.
Don't worry, I'm aware of the certain irony that comes in writing an opinion piece on opinions, but I just can't help myself.
Frankly, I'm a little tired of hearing people say something along the lines of, "Oh, I heard that fill-in-the-blank-with-whatever-media-you-want wasn't that great/over-hyped." If you start digging after this statement, you quickly find that they saw someone on a social media site saying this. Thus they have decided to adopt the opinion without seeing for themselves if they share it. As a creator, this makes me sad because some people may not pick up my work though they may ultimately like it. As a FAN, this makes me sad because people might be missing out on something awesome just because a friend said they didn't like it (or maybe not even a friend but an acquaintance or someone clever they follow on social media).
Here's the thing: I don't like everything my friends like.
It's true! And you know what? Not all of them like what I like. Some of my friends think I'm downright nuts for watching as much Kdrama as I do, and I can't get any of them to watch anime or not laugh when I say pro-gaming is awesome. Yes, my closest friends DO NOT share these common interests with me. And I'm not so much into some of their favorite things, either. I have a friend who loves country music, and one who buys all things Batman, and more than a few who like to run for pleasure (I mean, what?).
While I respect my friends' opinions, I'm also very aware that I might not share them. And that is OKAY. Friends all having to like the same things (and hate the same things) is something we should all put away in, like, grade school.
I'm not saying opinions are bad, just…I really encourage people to see for themselves. If you're excited about a movie, don't let other bad opinions stop you. Just because some people "weren't impressed," doesn't mean you won't enjoy it. In our ever-increasing critical society, it's hard to just ENJOY something, I know. It feels like the whole internet wants to challenge your enjoyment and tell you it's stupid.
But remember this—when it comes to consuming media, it's YOUR opinion that matters most in what you view, read, and listen to. You are allowed to love stuff other people might not. You shouldn't take a "I wasn't impressed by this book/movie/song/TV show" as the final verdict—you might feel totally different.
It's hard to erase all those opinions if you consume a lot of social media, to go into something with an open mind or even excitement, but I always end up enjoying something more when I do.
So, you know, the next time you hear an opinion, maybe decide to see for yourself anyway.