What silliness are we riled up over today?

It used to be that if you found something offensive, you either complained to the appropriate individuals or kept it to yourself. Now, with the Internet and social media, we’re all butt hurt over every possible slight.

What does “butt hurt” mean?

Well, it’s a slang term that essentially means “Overly annoyed, bothered or bugged because of a perceived insult; needlessly offended.”

Please note, the key word is perceived, not a real insult.

Whether it’s the color of a cup of coffee at Starbucks or, heaven forbid, someone may actually have a different opinion about a political issue, the Internet has become filled with keyboard commandos who feel a need to express their outrage over the latest incident that doesn’t mean a thing in grand scheme of things.

On college campuses, where students used to protest over segregation and the war in Vietnam, they now protest yoga classes because of concerns of cultural appropriation and genocide. I am still trying to figure that one out. But these are the same people who would yell racism at the cafeteria because the white cake is call angel food cake and the black cake is called devil food’s cake.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had just about enough of these people.

I am all for a healthy debate of the issues of the day. That’s how I make a living. But what I’ve seen lately has turned into adult temper tantrums about some alleged injustice, reported by some pseudo news service that leaves out important information, like the facts of what exactly happened with the injustice.

So how do we resolve this? Well, I’ve come up with a couple of things, one of which I incorporate in my teaching at Ivy Tech.

Every semester my students have to do a persuasive speech. I have them fill out a survey telling me whether they agree or disagree with certain statements such as “Illegal Immigration is bad for the country” or “The president is doing a good job.”

Once they fill out the survey, I take their responses and make them argue the opposite. It encourages critical thinking by making them realize there is another worldview out there that can be just as valid as theirs. And it also helps them with their own opinions by making them examine why they hold them. There is also the occasion where a student will change his or her mind. So, in the long run, students are less likely to get butt hurt when someone offers a different opinion on a substantive issue.

In the short run, however, here is something we all can do.

The next time you see someone on social media express angst over some alleged offense, I recommend typing the following.

“If you’re getting this worked up over something you have no control over and can do nothing about, how about you get off the computer, walk outside and go direct that energy toward something you can actually do something about, like improving the quality of life in your community?”

And here’s one for Twitter.

“Now that you’re upset, how about you direct that energy toward something you can actually make a difference?”

And if that doesn’t work, you can always de-friend or unfollow them. It may not stop the whining and gnashing of teeth, but at least you won’t have to put up with it.

And you can always send them a tube of Preparation-H.

Abdul Hakim-Shabazz is an attorney and the editor and publisher of IndyPoltics.Org. He is also a frequent contributor to numerous Indiana media outlets. He can be reached at abdul@indypolitics.org.