Is this generation overly sensitive?

Camila Myers and Mia Zaldivar

This face-off was originally slated to be posted in our recently published issue of our publication but due to a printing error, the wrong article was published instead. Here is Issue 8’s face-off, with Insight Editor, Camila Myers, arguing that our generation is too sensitive to criticism and Design Editor, Mia Zaldivar, presenting a counterargument.

Yes: The current generation of social justice warriors has received harsh criticism on their oversensitivity. The freedom of expression through social media available at any time has led to a group of people constantly voicing their opinion on everything that happens.  

Back in 2013, CEO of Chick-fil-A Dan Cathy, a devout Southern Baptist, made critical comments on gay-marriage legislation leading to an organized protest against Chick-fil-A from those offended by his beliefs.

Students from Duquesne University in Pennsylvania challenged the building of a new Chick-fil-A on campus, claiming to fear their peers’ safety, regarding the CEO’s comments. Duquesne University’s gay-straight alliance president said that he believed since Cathy does not agree with same-sex marriage, the students’ safety would be at risk and the community would feel marginalized if the Chick-fil-A were to open on campus.

If the students were to get upset if Chick-fil-A as a whole company was to deny customers based on sexual orientation, the reaction that occurred would be appropriate; but Cathy made it very clear that those were his personal opinions. The owner simply voiced his personal belief, and the the students backlashed from their sensitivity.

Everyone has the right to voice their beliefs; however, our generation has taken it too far in the sense that we seem to not be able to handle other’s opinions. People feel the need to jump down each other’s throats before they even know whole story. Sometimes it seems like this generation takes miniscule issues to the next level. So the next time you scroll through Twitter and come across someone’s personal rant, keep in mind that your feelings don’t always need to overpower your judgement.

No: The world seems to be spinning faster and faster everyday; society is opening up and our voices are being heard. Yet, the misconception surrounding activism equating sensitivity still lingers as a permanent label on our generation. People fail to realize we are not “overly sensitive.” We have simply taken the opportunity of a changing time with an accepting atmosphere to share our thoughts, ideas and opinions loud and clear. This is not sensitivity; it’s our right.

In 2013, students from Duquesne University in Pennsylvania challenged the opening of a Chick-fil-A on their campus because the CEO of the restaurant chain was homophobic. The students were criticized and labeled as overly sensitive; but what is the problem with not wanting to live around a company whose CEO bashes your identity?

Though there are times in which people exaggerate certain issues, this does not reflect the entirety of the population. Some people seek out ways to get offended, and the impersonal forms of communication nowadays makes absorbing the intended message a more biased task. Jokes typed instead of recited sometimes don’t convey a light hearted message as they were intended to.

Not to mention, arguments often occur across age gaps as a result of the changes in recent years. Reading articles that appear personally offensive and starting arguments with people about their political memes are counterproductive activities that result in unnecessary conflict. Making someone feel like they are overreacting and are overly sensitive for voicing their personal beliefs will not to make them change.