In the same way that cars run on petrol and my computer runs on mains electricity, I sometimes think social media is fuelled almost entirely by moral indignation.
I’ve come to realise after a decade of working in this industry that I’m fairly laid-back in Internet terms.
For example, I don’t much care that one piffling government-sponsored review suggested that MAYBE we might THINK about having a policy that requires all children to eat school meals.
I can’t bring myself to expend any energy worrying that Sam Brick and Katie Hopkins have made a career out of saying stupid things in a stupid newspaper.
I have absolutely no strong feelings either way on Bounty, except to say the chocolate/coconut ratio seems entirely the wrong way round to me.
Schools start enforcing the rules on term-time holidays? Whatever. It’s not as though they’re coming round in enforcement gangs with rifles to march you off the plane and to the school gates, are they?
Life’s too short to waste my time and energy on irritations that (in my experience) don’t really matter.
Or at least, that’s how I feel most of the time.
When Becky asked me to tell you what I would put into Room 101, never to be seen or heard from again, I discovered latent, hidden depths of irritation and fury. Oh yes, friends. Here are the things I would like to cast into a fiery pit in Room 101, never to be seen again:
1. Slow Drivers
Yesterday, I drove to my parents’ house. It’s about 14 miles, mostly on roads with a 60mph speed limit. Usually it takes around 25 minutes. Except yesterday it took 45 minutes because I was stuck behind someone who did a steady 30mph the ENTIRE way. For fecks’ sake, does your car even HAVE a fourth gear? (To my eternal shame, “It’s called fourth gear!” was one of Flea’s first full sentences). I’m not saying you have to drive at 60 the entire way. But hogging the road and slowing to 20mph whenever you go through a 30mph zone makes me want to do very, very bad things to you.
2. Litter Gits
I live in a ridiculously respectable town. And yet, I find myself in the grip of a crime wave. Wheelie bin theft. Oh yes. Every other Wednesday we are supposed to wheel our rubbish bins to the end of the street for collection before 8am. And every single time – WITHOUT FAIL – if I don’t collect my bin in the afternoon, it’s gone by the time I get there. I can peer out of my window and see which of my neighbours have two or even three wheelie bins. They must KNOW they’re stealing someone else’s bin. But they can’t seem to help themselves.
Once I even saw one of my neighbours – a proper pillar of the community – climbing over my garden wall to steal my bin. I left him to it. Frankly, if the dude needs a bin THAT badly, I’m not going to get in his way. But the result is that my rubbish then piles in my back garden for two weeks – being over-run with flies and attacked by cats – and then OF COURSE the bin men won’t take it because they only collect rubbish that’s inside a bin, so I end up loading up the car yet again with stinking refuse, and driving it to the tip myself. Ugh.
3. People who have fights on social media
Imagine finding your child on the Internet calling a school friend names, and ganging up with their friends against someone else. You’d unplug their computer and confiscate their phone. Frankly, when I see people snarking on Twitter, gossiping on Facebook, and writing stupid blog posts about how they oh-so-cleverly called someone a tw@t because they’re standing up for what’s RIGHT, I want nothing more than to go round to their house, unplug their computer and ask if they’ve got any homework to be getting on with.
What drives you nuts?
I’m tagging the following three bloggers in case they fancy sharing a bit of pointless rage with the Internet:
Kate from the Five Fs
Ruth from Geek Mummy
Katie from Mummy Daddy Me