Dear Victor Meldrew…

The other day someone I don’t know sent me a message on Twitter. This person wanted to talk about my blog. I’ve had some very kind praise about my blog and I’ve had the odd jokey criticism… “Kim, that’s not a blog, it’s an Amazon Wish List!”. I laughed. If you’re not prepared for people to comment then the internet really isn’t for you. But this guy wasn’t happy. “Your blog isn’t genuine or authentic” he complained “You’re fake”. How so? “You’re eternally happy and positive all the time. Nobody can like everything!”

And so I re-read my posts. He has a point. I do write about things I like. If I like something I tend to want to share it with those around me so they too can benefit from it’s wonderfulness. I spoke with my friend Hannah and we decided it might be fun if I were to write a post about something I hate purely to appease the man we’re affectionately calling “Victor Meldrew”. I thought long and hard. What do I hate? And then I remembered.

Facebook.

I used to be on Facebook. For a while it was fun. I racked up about 300 “friends”. I posted the obligatory photos… first-day-of-school… Christmas Tree… But then it started to dawn on me. There’s something really odd about Facebook. I don’t think it’s normal for people to keep everybody they’ve ever met in their entire lives so close. That girl you sat next to in Algebra when you were 13… your old boss from three jobs ago… that ex-boyfriend… You don’t see these people. You don’t speak. You have nothing in common anymore. Yet, you’re happy with them knowing everything about you? It’s natural for friends to drift from our lives. You grow, you change and sometimes what was there isn’t any longer and that’s OK. There’s no bad feeling, you can’t force these things. Some people just click the Unfriend button but I could never bring myself to do that. It seems too harsh, too rude.

Then there’s the stalking. A few years ago I’d been invited to something and I’d politely declined. The event wasn’t really my thing. But then weeks later I was cornered in the playground at drop off time to be asked WHY I’d declined their invite, claiming I was unavailable, when they’d seen on Facebook that I’d been out for dinner with other people. Why had I chosen to go to So and So’s instead of theirs? Didn’t I like them??

It never ceases to amaze me in the day and age of identity fraud how people put up EVERYTHING about themselves on Facebook. Their star signs, their birthdays, their children’s school, their address… Then there’s the competitive Facebookers. We all know at least one person that uses Facebook to brag. Look at my house, my car, my holiday snaps… It’s all so transparent. Those that want you to see them at this party or that function. Yawn. There are the selfie addicts that change their profile photo as often as their underwear. But they’re not vain, oh no. There are the attention seekers… “I’m so down. It’s been an awful day” they whine… when people clamour asking what’s wrong they nearly always say “I don’t want to talk about it”. There are the ones that play the numbers game. Look at how many friends I have… I am SO popular! Then people tell you “I hardly know the woman, I only accepted her friend request because our kids go to the same school”.

A friend of mine thinks Facebook can be psychologically damaging to teenagers. She banned Facebook after her teen daughter got repeatedly upset when she’d see on Facebook that she hadn’t been invited to a party. That she’d been left out. She also said “Facebook breeds dissatisfaction” when, on a lovely family holiday in Cornwall, her daughter had complained that her friends were posting more exciting, glamorous holiday pics.

I knew it was time to go when someone starting bad mouthing me on Facebook. We hear about this all the time. Cyber Bullying. Except in this case it wasn’t a teenage girl but a 50 year old woman. I was so over it. And I have to say I haven’t missed it at all. My real friends are there for me. We call, we text, we actually see one another. Like, dare I say it, real friends.

OK, so maybe there’s actually loads of stuff I hate. I hate Maths. I still can’t do long division. I hate Rachel Riley. To be that pretty AND that clever seems glaringly unfair. I hate the word “panties”. I am not alone in this! Ultimately my big hates are the same as most of us. I hate being told how I should feel or what I should think. I hate feeling indebted. I hate terrorists and the atrocities they carry out. I hate people who are cruel to children or animals. I hate bullies. I hate injustice. So far, so normal.

I asked Twitter what they hated and got a great variety of answers! Spiders, being ignored, ex-wife, mushrooms, lateness, Loose Women (the TV show), irrational anxiety, Tories, lack of empathy, London commuters, mayonnaise, two faced people, TV adverts, broken promises, Brussels sprouts, social interaction, hot pineapple(!), any reality show with the word “celebrity” in the title, insincerity and married men who don’t act married!

Possibly my favourite answer was from a woman who said she hated bananas.

i hate bananas
Splendid.

But is it a good idea to get bogged down with all this hating business? I’m not a habitual complainer. No, my life is not perfect, but putting up any worries or troubles I may have on the internet for any number of strangers to read isn’t really my bag. And so I like to focus on the good, the fun, the light hearted. Is that really such a crime?

So back to stuff I like! I like Chris Pratt. I like Chris Pratt a lot. I like him taming dinosaurs in Jurassic World. I like him fighting aliens in Guardians of the Galaxy. I particularly like him as a lovable buffoon in Parks & Recreation before he went all buff and Hollywood. *shrugs* What are you gonna do?

chris pratt1

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