Don’t be the cold chicken.

In journalism, readers go out of their way to tell you that your articles are wrong more often than they want to praise your work. The more I think about it, the more I realize that journalism isn’t the only place where this is prevalent.

Take a Facebook post, for example, which reads something along the lines of “If the 2016 election was held right now, Clinton would still lose.” Now, imagine the feedback this post would receive. Is it positive or negative, or is it just internet activists peacefully protesting by commenting how terribly wrong and ignorant you are?

I won’t share my political stance, but I will share an instance of what happened when I did so on Facebook. 160 comments of “take this down,” “you’re uninformed,” “you’re the problem.” Realistically, I’m incredibly informed. I do my research before I share my opinion, hence the reason I have an actual opinion — not just the ability to disagree with people.

What the uninformed are unaware of is simple: Opinions are fun. How else would we hold a conversation with anyone? We talk about whether or not we prefer a certain brand of clothing and why. We discuss our political views, and share reasons we support the opposing. We share the restaurants we love, and the ones we hate. These are the ideas that make up the everyday conversation.

You know you dislike the chicken marsala from a certain restaurant because last time, it was served cold. There’s no turning back. You’re over it — in fact, you never want chicken marsala again. But you and your friend go to that same restaurant, and this time, your friend gets the chicken marsala, and it is served sizzling hot, and looks better than ever. You try a piece, and you love it. You love it so much, you wish you gave it another chance, but you already made a fool of yourself. You told your friend there’s no way you can ever try it again — you hate it, you hate this restaurant, you want nothing to do with it. But you changed your mind. How can you go back?

Your opinion is the chicken. Your uninformed opinion is the cold chicken. You assumed that because it was heinous one time that every time after that it would be, too. But your informed friend did her research, and knows the chicken is usually cooked to perfection, so she shares it with you. You’re now informed.

You spoke out before you were informed, insulting the researched opinion’s views. Not only is your opinion a cold piece of chicken, but you are the uneducated, “I-read-the-first-sentence-of-your-thought,” quick to judge Facebook comment.

Opinions are fun — or they should be. Agreement and disagreement are key factors in having a conversation. The point is, you can disagree all you want — as long as it’s an informed, researched, thorough disagreement that could potentially change my original thoughts. Call me uninformed, stupid, or ignorant as much as you want — as long as you have your facts straight.