A few years ago one of my best friends said to me during one of our many debates/arguments, “You place too much value in your own opinion.” At the time I thought that was ridiculous. To me, everyone should highly value his or her opinions. What I think he meant though, was that maybe I was placing too much value on voicing my own. Now, that, I could not agree with more. Especially in the era of social media networking, everything we feel or think doesn’t need to be shared. My argument/conversation with my friend was several years ago- before Facebook was popular and Twitter existed. The game has definitely changed and it’s bringing out the worst in some of us.
Unless you live under a rock with no cell phone or Wi-Fi connection, you know that singer songwriter Frank Ocean wrote a letter revealing that he’d been in love with a man. He put it just as simply as that. No “surprise, I’m gay” announcement, no big revelation, no fanfare. In short, it was the best coming out of any celebrity I know. Now, obviously no one expects a rising R&B star like Frank Ocean to “come out of the closet” on Independence day no less; but the social networks that be, along with almost every music or hip hop blog, went crazy. Everyone wanted to report about it and everyone had an outlook.
I don’t mind opinions, honestly, I don’t. Hell, I’m very opinionated. However, some of the “opinions” I read concerning Frank Ocean were just ridiculous. Some weren’t opinions at all. Twitter had several immature young men proclaiming that they could no longer listen to Frank Ocean’s love songs knowing he could be crooning about another man. A few even took to calling the Odd Future affiliate harsh names and sending them to what turned out to a fake Frank Ocean Twitter account. However, I’m sure Ocean received some hate directly to his real account. Comments on Frank Ocean’s many songs on YouTube had girls proclaiming how they loved Frank’s music but were a little upset he might be gay because they still wanted to sleep with him. Every other media outlet that reported on his coming out had mostly positive comments and several people writing whole paragraphs about how they don’t know who Frank Ocean is and don’t care if he is or isn’t gay or bisexual. Many went on to voice their respective opinions of homosexuality or bisexuality. Surprisingly, these were the most annoying to me.
Frank Ocean doesn’t need anyone to “approve” of him, his sexuality or his relationship with another man. And surely he doesn’t need you to tweet him to tell him that you don’t approve of his sexuality or decision- to be honest about it. You don’t have to agree. Is that what we do because we’re sitting behind a computer screen? No one asked and no one cares. No one needs to know that up until today, a teenaged girl planned on sleeping with an up and coming singer and we don’t really need to hear of your disappointment in not being able to do so. Certainly no one needs you to take the time out of your day to write a full comment about someone who you openly admit you do not know or know anything about. No one needs to hear-or read- your opinion just because you have one. You’re not tough because you type nasty things to and about celebrities on Twitter that you would never say to their faces. At the end of it all, no one will laud your “honesty” because you leave hateful comments on simple news stories where you have a choice to not comment at all and your opinion would remain the same.
We all have opinions. We all have a right to those opinions. But if your opinion wasn’t asked or you know it is intended to hurt someone then it’s best to keep your thoughts to yourself. Frank Ocean doesn’t need to read your opinion on his life.
And I don’t need to read it either.