Not Everyone Likes the Same Things You Do

Not Everyone Likes the Same Things You Do

I just finished watching the new season of BBC’s Sherlock with my husband. This was a show we loved when it premiered. I was so excited about the fourth season, I made my husband re-watch the entire show with me so we would have all the details fresh in our minds. It’s a good thing my husband decided not to tease me about it because both of us ended up disliking the final season so much we wished we hadn’t bothered.

I’m sure my opinion is an unpopular one. For every person who disliked the last three episodes, there are probably a dozen or more who loved it. I could spend the next twenty minutes discussing why I’m not one of them, but that isn’t what this post is about.

This post is about the people who will jump down my throat for expressing an opinion that differs from theirs, especially when that opinion appears in a place I consider my space – such as my blog, facebook wall or twitter feed. It happens all the time, especially on the Internet. Maybe it’s because you don’t have to look at someone’s face while you’re typing a response, but that doesn’t make it less absurd.

A few weeks ago, I ranted on Facebook about my occasional distaste for smart phones. I don’t think they’re ruining society; I’m as amazed as anyone who grew up in the 80’s about the ability to carry a tiny computer around in my pocket. But they can be problematic. In this case my mobile provider decided to spam text me while I was waiting for an important text from a friend and also neck-deep in manuscript edits (which is pretty much the fastest way to ruin a writer’s day).

No sooner did I express this opinion than did someone jump down my throat about it. And it irked me.

I don’t care if people disagree with me. I honestly don’t. If you love your smart phone, love it. If you loved the fourth season of Sherlock, we don’t have to go to war. I’m not trying to come between people and the things they enjoy. But I don’t want people acting like I should change my opinion because it differs from theirs. There’s no rule that says friends have to agree about everything all the time.

In fact, I disagree with a lot of friends about a lot of things. Some of us don’t even have the same political views, but still manage to get along. We even manage deep, philosophical conversations at the end of which we conclude that we see the world differently – but are still friends.

The key is that we respect the differences in each others positions. I can see the merit in something even if I dislike it. I’ve seen posts raving about how Sherlock brings all of its elements together. I disagree, but I’m not going to undertake a personal crusade to change people’s minds. Expressing an opposing opinion isn’t the same as asking everyone to agree with it. You can disagree with someone without being a jerk about it.

There’s a big difference between saying I disliked the final season of Sherlock, and saying Anyone who likes the final season ofSherlock is an idiot. I’m sad that I didn’t share other fans’ enjoyment of a show I liked. I wish I was gushing about something I found irresistible and delightful. But that wasn’t how I felt, and expressing my disappointment is not meant to rob anyone of their joy. Yet, I’m constantly snarked at when I say I don’t like a movie, or that a trailer looks uninteresting, because people only want to hear opinions that match their own. I get told I’m missing the point. But I’m pretty sure the point of movies and TV shows are to entertain me; and if they don’t, that’s not my fault. Not everyone enjoys the same types of stories, or the same presentation of certain stories. There’s no crime in being honest about it.

I’m not going to walk on constant eggshells over expressing my opinions. I’m not going to resist the urge to critique a story from a writer’s perspective because – guess what? – I’m a writer. You wouldn’t ask an engineer not to science, so don’t ask me not to look at all the elements of a story, however it’s presented.

I was on Tumblr a few minutes ago (procrastinating, of course) and read a post where someone hoped the power wouldn’t go out before they finished cooking some chicken nuggets. A person replied identifying themselves as a vegan and said I hope the power goes out so you can’t cook your chicken nuggets. My instant reaction was, this is why people don’t like you. If you don’t want to eat meat, don’t eat it. But don’t act like I’m a horrible monster because I do.

Disagree without being a jerk about it. That’s all I’m asking. Like what you like without requiring me to agree.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *