“IMHO” has become a familiar acronym in social media communications. In my humble opinion is regularly seen after a person posts their thoughts (usually dissenting) on any given subject or circumstance.
In observing the usage of this term – I see it used two different ways.
One – it’s an apology for having a different opinion. I have used it this way myself. Why? Why in the land of the free and home of the brave does one feel the need to apologize for having a different view or opinion? Are our friends (supposedly we know the people who are on our friend list) so shallow or narrow that they won’t respect what we have to say? We should have friends who both do and don’t think the way we do, but they should be friends enough that we can state our differing view without fear of being shish-kabobbed.
Two – it’s the opposite of being humble. I hate to admit it but I’m fairly certain I’ve used it this way too. It’s a sarcastic barb thrown out to say my opinion is right and you are obviously wrong (because you are stupid, or ignorant, or mis-informed) but I’ll throw in IMHO so that you won’t be too offended by my superior intellect. It’s false humility.
Real humility is not announced.
I’ve decided to try and not use IMHO. My beliefs and opinions are just that – mine. I should not have to apologize for them, nor should I hold them over others as being superior. I’m trying to think before I post my opinions and beliefs on social media – examining my motives for posting first. I’m discovering that most of the time my opinion is not adding anything to the conversation – it’s just a matter of pride to say something. If truly a “real conversation” is taking place (which I think is pretty rare on social media) then I might weigh in, but otherwise I’ll have to think twice about it.