It has also been used to describe over protected young people who expect to be told they are special at every turn.
Students who agree with the NUS no platform policy have also been targeted with this term.
But I think it applies to what seems to be happening to discussion and debate right now.
Today I came across a political discussion in my Facebook feed.
It was posted by a fellow writer and artist. I’ll call him Snowflake for now.
While not agreeing with all Snowflake’s posts I have found them interesting enough to read them when they pop up in my feed.
I won’t go into specifics here but the gist of Snowflake’s post was that anyone who disagreed with his opinions was a ‘knob.’
A BIT OF A THING
I’m noticing it seems to be a bit of a ‘thing’ now to post an opinion in a provocative manner and then threaten to delete/unfriend anyone who disagrees.
But Snowflake’s ‘knob’ approach takes it even further – you’re not just deleted for disagreeing – you’re a knob as well!
In my book anything appearing in my feed on a public forum is inviting a response.
So, I commented that a better way to counteract alternative opinions, racist, or damaging memes etc., was to spread articles, or posts that contradict them.
I added that I didn’t think calling people ‘knobs’ was going to educate, or change anyone’s mind.
Snowflake had previously remarked that he would be deleting/unfriending those who disagreed with him so I can’t say I drowned myself in crocodile tears when he deleted/unfriended me.
I don’t know Snowflake personally so I am not offended by this.
Pity though, it might have been interesting to hear him explain how calling people knobs would change their opinions and attitudes.
But, perhaps he is not trying to change opinions or attitudes.
Perhaps he is only posting to receive accolades for his own?
I can’t see much difference between Snowflake’s approach to debate than that of George ‘you’re either with us or against us.’ Bush.
But there is something about Snowflake’s attitude that bothers me.
It bothers me because it seems to be becoming a popular stance on social media.
It’s kind of sad, because some of it is coming from those who would sooner swim in a pool of shit than align themselves with a dictator.
Yet, isn’t dictating exactly what they are doing when they only allow opinions they agree with?
I don’t believe that it is actually possible to agree with one person’s every expressed opinion.
Surely we are all too individual to want to contribute to that boring scenario?
As for Snowflake – my opinion won’t bother him.
He will find many people who prefer life in the yes lane.
But, if he keeps deleting and ‘knobbing,’ he’ll be left with a gang of people who only ever respond with ‘yes, yes, you are right, your divine Snowflakeness.’
I don’t want to be in that gang.
How would you know who really agrees and who is just scared of being called a knob?
It’s not nice to be called a knob – although there’s worse things.
Where I come from there’s a word for people who don’t dare challenge – it’s not very nice either, because that word is suck-hole.
But that’s just me.
I have opinions and, trolls apart, I don’t mind if people disagree.
That’s what makes for interesting debate.
Besides, I could be wrong.
Someone might point me towards some new information that makes me change my opinion.
I might learn something new.
Or, I might learn how to counter an argument with which I disagree.
Changing an opinion is what intelligent people do when they get new information – if they’re not emotionally attached to the old, but that’s another story.
But, lest it seem I’m picking on Snowflake, let me tell you there’s more than him doing the social media shuffle with his finger on delete.
Let me tell you about Hero, another writer/artist.
Hero regularly posts provocative opinions dressed with as many ‘fuckings’ ‘bastards’ and ‘bollocks’ as he can fit in to one sentence.
Maybe he thinks it makes him a cool bastard- who the fuck knows? Who the fuck cares? (You get it, right?)
Interestingly, Hero rarely bothers to answer comments and challenges because ‘debate on Facebook is pointless.’
I wonder why he goes to the trouble of composing his appealing gallery of word-fuckery – if not to start a debate?
Unless, like Snowflake, he just wants to gather a gang of suck-holes who are afraid to challenge him…
Still, I quite like Hero’s posts and he might ignore challenges but at least he doesn’t delete them.
But, I don’t want to be in his gang either.
I often see opinions on my timeline I disagree with. Sometimes I ignore them. Sometimes I challenge them.
Unless they are making it personal, directly calling me a name, or trolling me in some way I don’t delete them.
To be honest I don’t want to be in anyone’s gang.
I like to know what people think – even if I disagree.
Anything else would be too fucking boring to be honest.
If that’s being a knob then I don’t mind being a knob.
Bye for now.