By Anthony Castillo and Amy Manzinas

Our society is driven by the freedom of speech,present in the rights we hold as individuals to have liberty. However, as time progresses, so does our thinking. From the early Revolutionary War to the Civil Rights Movement and now, our collective voices and actions have impacted the American society, for both better and worse. Due to the granted power to openly express our opinion, it has been easier for many citizens to exert their view on matters that range from controversial levels to minor inconveniences. In 2019, verbality has now caused more damage to individuals, groups, and communities in our society than ever before. It has become increasingly difficult for anyone to properly communicate their thoughts without getting bashed or exposed on the internet. People are now getting harassed publicly for something they intentionally or unintentionally said or did. There are those who are seemingly offended by others which raises the question: Has our society gotten more sensitive or stronger?

It is safe to say that the answer varies. Throughout the development of the United States, citizens have adapted new values and interpretations between right or wrong. Yet, because of these controversial beliefs, it is understandable there will be a clash of beliefs. If a person were to say, “abortion is wrong!” or vise versa, there would undoubtedly be others who believe otherwise. If someone believes that there are only two genders or vise versa, the choices between whether we are more sensitive or stronger can be true for both cases. We understand that it is our right to defend our beliefs if others try to influence or impose their beliefs on you. Being able to advocate for yourself and disagree with others is acceptable and should be appreciated.

However, there’s validity to arguing towards an overly sensitive society causes many people to become close-minded and ignore the fact that it is normal to have contradicting beliefs. Of course, there are topics such as racism and discrimination where it is perfectly okay to become defensive. In the 21st century, it is difficult to determine where to draw the line when it comes to being defensive on a topic. We have grown too sensitive, but we have also learned that we have to fight and advocate for ourselves. It is harder and harder for people to have respectful discussions with one another on different topics. This in turn, has created a more divided society. If everyone could learn to respect other people’s opinions, cooperate with others, and understand that it is alright to be wrong at certain times, there would be greater progress in our society.

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