I think that those of us on Twitter are fairly familiar with this 'snowflake' and 'offended' culture by now. It seems to be millennials vs the older generations, where the older generations will tweet something and millennials will share an opposing view of it and vice versa. So, are we becoming too offended. Or, are we right in our opinions?
Let's start off by looking at it from the perspective of older generations, and by that I mean Piers Morgan. Not one to shy away from making a controversial opinion, he does like to share these on Twitter and have a go at 'millennial snowflakes' in the process. He does like to get into Twitter wars with millennials, by claiming they are getting too offended by minuscule things, yet this is all coming from a man who gets offended by vegan sausage rolls:
So, the man is a bit (and by a bit I mean a LOT) of a hypocrite. He is quite happy to point out that people are being 'snowflakes', yet he himself cannot get over the fact that there are vegans in this world and that people can now eat food that is meat-free yet have the same resemblance of meat. But when someone expresses an opinion that is different to his and he sees it as them being 'offended' and a 'snowflake', he will likely say something like this:
It is almost as if this generation (and I know it is not everyone, but this is just a general observation of mine), is happy as long as younger generations share the same views as them, but as soon as someone makes a point about how views need to change they are quick to complain about it and say they are over-exaggerating and need to get over it. They then get offended by any of these changes that come into force, such as the vegan sausage roll incident. So it is kind of ironic that a generation who spend many hours of the day making out that the millennial generation are way too offended by anything and everything, yet these are the people who get offended when a young person does not consume an entire cow throughout the course of the day.
Let's look at the influencer/youtuber situation. Throughout the last ten years or so, this is a job that has not been short of controversy. A lot of this controversy is people saying that posting on Instagram, going on sponsored trips, and posting videos on youtube is not a way to make a living and is not a proper job. Just because these people are not working the standard 9-5 job and make it seem like they are getting paid to go on holiday, does not mean that they do not work hard. Let me put it this way, you will see that the last post I wrote was ten minutes long. That does not mean it only took me ten minutes to write it. The reality is it took me over five hours just to write it. I do not earn anything from being a blogger, yet for many this is their livelihood. Them getting paid to promote products on Instagram is no different to an actor getting paid to promote a product in a TV advert. Everyone sees people playing football as a profession, yet as soon as an influencer says what they do they are hit with "yeah, but what is your real job?". And when they go on reality TV, more so Strictly, they are always hit with 'who' and 'yeah, but, they are not actually famous'. Joe Sugg and Saffron Barker going on Strictly caused so much outrage from older generations as they had never heard of them, yet whenever a person has gone on Strictly or any other celebrity reality show that the younger generation have not heard of, you do not see us making a fuss about how we have never heard of them and that they should not be on the show for that reason. A person you have never heard of going on a TV show is not a reason to get offended, yet many people do.
I guess I am biased in saying that I do not think the younger generation are getting overly offended by things and that we are not snowflakes. I think that because we now live in a world where being able to share your opinion on a topic is so easy to do, you are more able to see the popular and unpopular opinions. I do think that some things are ridiculous, such as the whole thing surrounding Fireman Sam and how it is putting girls off becoming a firefighter because the title suggests it is a mans job. People are quick to forget that there is a female firefighter in the show (Penny). I know for a fact that when I used to watch that show, I never once thought that because the show was called Fireman Sam, that meant I could not become a firefighter when I got older. Maybe I am just naive but I really do not believe that girls would watch that show and think that they are unable to become a firefighter. Then again, if any boys watched Angelina Ballerina, maybe they thought from watching that show that they could not do ballet lessons? I do think that TV shows should create things that are more diverse, however in terms of children thinking they cannot do things, the parents also need to tell children that they can. In terms of the ballet dancing, parents could ask their child if they would like to do some dancing lessons and tell them that both girls AND boys can learn how to dance.
I wholeheartedly believe that 'being offended' has always been a part of society. As we start getting new and more up-to-date ideas about the world around us, there are always some people who choose to remain stuck in their ways and refuse to change their opinion on things. We are living in an ever-changing world where we are changing our opinions of most things to meet the expectations of the modern world. I think the problem in this respect is that there are still quite a few people out there that refuse to live in the 21st century and are sticking to their old-fashioned way of thinking. Piers Morgan is obviously a prime example here, however there are plenty of others who are also like this, he is just the one that is constantly expressing how he feels about these new ideas.
So I do agree with the tweet I put at the start of this post. I think that far too many people are quick to say they are offended by something without first thinking about why they feel this way and why it bothers them. However, there are many occasions where someone expressing the fact they are offended by someone's view of something is okay. When do you think these occasions are? And do you think that as a society we are becoming too offended?
Love Beth xx