Social Media. It’s a Godsend in these crazy times, right? What on earth would 15 year old me have done with herself if Covid-19 had hit in the 90s, I ask you? With no Social Media to keep her connected with her buddies? Her £10 credit wouldn’t have kept her texting through a whole three weeks of lock down, that’s for sure, and she’d definitely have gotten very bored of Channels 1 – 5 and a tired old collection of video cassettes (yes, my family were late to the DVD game….) very quickly! There would have been tears, tantrums and some very overly dramatic declarations that she was going to diiiiiieeeeeeeeeeee, I’m certain of that. Luckily for my parents, it didn’t happen in the 90s, it happened now, when we have never been so easily connected, not just with the ones we love but the rest of the world too. Thing is though, the rest of the world….. well, they kind of suck. Well, not everyone, obviously, you guys are ok. But huge swathes of the Internet dwelling public just seem to be massive dicks, and never has it been more apparent than right now. Yes now, right in the middle of a global crisis. Right when we need people to not be dicks more than ever, there they are, running around the Internet, sharing their condescending opinions and typing patronising comments on everything and generally being dickish. People just love to get all self-righteous during a crisis, don’t they? And normally I just do the grown up thing (which is ignore them, then slag them off behind their backs, obvs…) but today I’ve had my fill of dickishness, so here comes another of my famous rants…. Please leave the Internet via the nearest exit if you are one of these people:
The Pandemic Police
All credit goes to Forever Amber for coining the term, but I bet all of you know one. They’re the people who feel the need to tell us how to ‘do’ Coronavirus. They have read all the guidance (yes, the same guidance we’ve ALL read, everyday, for the last two weeks…) and have taken it upon themselves to be Boris’ right hand man and make sure we’re following the rules. They don’t just isolate though, they isolate THE BEST, and they’re here to comment on anything you post to tell you you are DOING IT WRONG! Yes, even that throwback pic of you on holiday in 2009, because you’re encouraging people to go on holiday, dammit! Fresh air and exercise? No way! FaceTime? Don’t think so, you never know what you could catch! Dog walking? Your dog should stop being so selfish. Nope, you need to lock your doors and windows and exist on stale bread and water in the dark, because, didn’t you know you’re supposed to #STAYATHOME??? And don’t try throwing that ‘you’re allowed to go out for essentials’ nonsense at them. They will decide what is deemed essential for everyone, thank you very much! They don’t just want to police your activity either, they also feel obliged to tell you what you should be doing morally as well. Because the only correct thing to do at a time like this is to sell all your possessions for charity, donate all your food to the elderly and volunteer ALL your time. Except without leaving the house, because #STAYATHOME! Basically, you should just die, because existing at a time like this is frankly self-indulgent. Just be glad you don’t live with them, where they’d be timing your hand washing and scrutinising your shopping to make sure you didn’t buy any luxuries like toilet roll…
The Bandwagon Bandits
Bandwagon Bandits existed long before Coronavirus did – they knew how to floss before anyone else, had posted their ice bucket challenge before you even knew it was a thing and count Baby Shark as one of their top 10 all time favourite songs – but a global crisis is when they really come into their own. You see, Bandwagon Bandits just love to jump on the metaphorical bandwagon, funnily enough, whether that’s a hashtag, a snazzy profile picture banner or just the general consensus of the day, and lets face it, there are a hell of a lot of trends out there to follow right now. Now, some of you may be worried, thinking, ‘I put a banner on my profile pic yesterday, am I a Bandwagon Bandit??’ Rest assured that there is nothing obnoxious about any of those things. Quite the opposite, in fact – sometimes it’s these little acts that bring us all together and remind us there is still a world out there. But if you do all the things, all the time, without any care for how hypocritical it makes you look a week later when you’ve completely contradicted your previous passionate posts, then you, my friend, are a Bandwagon Bandit! Two weeks ago they were telling everyone to calm the f*** down, it’s just the flu. Now they’re telling everyone to stay the f*** home and calling everyone Covidiots. They share passionate pleas for us all to #bekind, then 5 minutes later they’re using the c-word to describe the person they thought had too much shopping in their trolley despite knowing nothing about that person or who they were shopping for. They love to post a pic of themselves social distancing somewhere pretty and rural, but then retweet anything that slates anyone who left their house this week. Why is it that they seem to be the only people in your newsfeed? Oh yes, because they post 100 times a day. YES, I’M GOING TO CLAP FOR THE NHS DARREN, STOP SHOUTING AT ME!!!
The Shit Meme Steves
We’ve all got that one friend that always sends funny YouTube clips and tags you in the ’10 Girls Who Are Nightmares After A Drink!’ posts, haven’t we? And normally it’s pretty amusing. But something happens to them during a pandemic. It’s like they can’t handle all the additional stimulation and something short circuits in their brain. So much content, so little time! Must. Share. Everything! Suddenly they start sending you every piece of satire they can lay their hands on, good or bad (and it’s mostly bad!). You had a little chuckle at the dog complaining about having one walk a day. And the jokes about homeschooling hit the right note, especially when they referenced drinking yourself into oblivion. But after a while it just got too much. How many versions of I Will Survive with lock down related lyrics can there be, for Christ’s sake?? PLEASE, MAKE IT STOP!
The Fake News Freddies
Bless. Some people are just so trusting, aren’t they? They literally believe anything that is written down, no matter how inconceivable it is. The fact that this amazing revelation they’ve just found hasn’t been reported by any of the major news networks and largely defies all medical advice and common sense doesn’t seem to matter, they’ll be sharing that shit quicker than you can say, ‘My mum’s friend’s cousin knows someone in MI5 and they said….’
The Agenda Benders
So you think you’re reading a bog standard article about Coronavirus, probably the 17th one today about symptoms other than fever and a cough (just me that obsessively does that then?) and then BOOM! They hit you with the real agenda. They don’t really care about informing people about Coronavirus at all, they’re just using pretty much the only thing in the news right now to draw attention to something else that hasn’t been mentioned for a while for obvious reasons. Normally Brexit. Or generally how much of an arse they think Boris/Jeremy/some other figure head is. Or maybe how this is all God’s revenge for us allowing gay marriage. Normally I read other people’s opinions with interest, or at worst scroll on by, but to be honest, right now it’s just irritating. If I see one more post stating that none of this would have happened if we’d all done Veganuary I swear, my laptop is going out of the window!
The ‘What About…’ Wendys
We all observed a truly magical and lovely experience on Thursday last week. Millions of people all came out to their front doors, their windows and balconies and joined together in a giant round of applause for our carers in the NHS. I was genuinely moved by the whole thing – not only did it carry the obvious message of saying thank you to those out there risking their health and even their lives to take care of us, but it was a much needed moment of unity and positivity in otherwise dark and confusing times. I’m not ashamed to say I had a little cry as I pondered how one little act could bring so many people together. But no sooner was it over, the ‘What About’ Wendys came out in force. They did not join in, because they didn’t think it was fair. Why are we only clapping for carers? What about supermarket workers? What about bus drivers? What about bin men? What about Bob that lives down the road and always picks up a newspaper for his elderly neighbour? WILL NO ONE THINK ABOUT BOB?! Here’s the thing, Wendy. You are right. These are all great people. They deserve praise for going about their jobs while the world goes to hell around them. But this wasn’t about them, it was about the NHS. One group of people getting recognised for their contribution does not diminish the good things done by others. Maybe if you feel so passionately you could organise something instead of pissing on everyone’s parade, yeah??
The Conspiracy Theorists
Don’t really need to say much here do I? I think we’ll all agree these guys are our least favourite people during ANY crisis. Literally no one cares about your half baked tales about 5G….
The Misery Olympians
We’re all having a tough time right now – that is fact. I quite like my own company and even I am starting to feel the walls closing in – I don’t think anyone really relishes the idea of not being free to go where we want or see our friends and loved ones. On top of that, so many of us have been laid off or made redundant. Those who haven’t are having to try and carry on working whilst also caring for and schooling their children. And, you know, DEATH. The treat of death is pretty much always going to leave you feeling a little glum. Some people, though, definitely have it far worse. Far worse than ANYONE. For them, being miserable is not just a Covid-induced state, it is LIFE. You can’t possibly be worse off than them, because they have the monopoly on unhappiness. You don’t know what hard means – they have 72 children in a one bed flat and no help from anyone. They have to walk 20 miles barefoot through the snow every morning just to bring them their Cheerios. They already had the ‘Rona 3 times and the last time was so bad they died. Then they came back to life only to suffer this God awful existence all over again. So don’t tell them what ‘hard’ means! Well done, here’s your gold medal. You win.
Meet Sienna. Sienna isn’t worried about Coronavirus because she only eats organic plant based superfoods so has the immune system of a Goddess. She does Yoga every morning at 5am to maintain her zen and thoroughly recommends you do too. She isn’t stressed about homeschooling either because her children are perfect angels and are already studying at PHD level anyway. They are perfectly happy entertaining themselves by quietly reading War & Peace or researching a cure for cancer while she works. She isn’t upset about being in lock down because she is soooo thrilled to have been given the gift of time, time to spend with her adorable family, meditate and better herself by learning how to macrame. While she’s at it she might also write a novel and hand rear a herd of cattle, if she can fit it in. Why don’t you try to see this as a blessing rather than a curse, just like Sienna? Also, she lives in a f*** off sized house, has a live in Nanny and a trust fund. Funny, that! Sienna, I speak for everyone when I say, just f*** off!
The ‘It Could Be Worse…’ Brigade
Aaaaaand I’ve saved the best – by which I obviously mean the worst – for last. The ‘It Could Be Worse’ Brigade. My least favourite of all the social media w****** out there. These guys are the snipers of Facebook and Instagram. You barely even notice them, lurking in the background, until you mention that as much as you love your kids you are finding them hard to be around right now. And that’s when they get you! HOW DARE YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN??? Just be thankful you are able to be with your children when so many others can’t. Just be thankful your children haven’t died already. Just be thankful you even have children in the first place. Just be thankful you don’t have cancer, or live in a war torn country, or haven’t lost your legs in a car accident…. Yeah, we get it. We should try to look at the bright side. We absolutely should. I genuinely believe it’s important to count your blessings and appreciate what you have in life. But I also don’t think you can do that if you are busy pretending to be happy all the time! Obviously don’t wallow in a pit of misery for the rest of your life or anything, but it’s ok to feel these feelings – loss, hurt, fear, boredom, frustration, anger, it’s all perfectly normal. Knowing that someone else has it worse than you doesn’t magically make those feelings go away, and pretending it does is not realistic. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, telling people to swallow their feelings and pretend everything is fine is actually plain dangerous, so it needs to stop. We keep telling everyone it’s ok to not be ok, but then the second someone says they’re not ok we jump on them for being negative! Leave. It. Out!
And with that, I bid you adieu. I’m off to take my temperature for the millionth time today and drown my sorrows in a vat of gin.