I am often intrigued by what annoys people, especially on Twitter. A subject which I saw recently, which was causing a heated debate was a discussion about whether there should be a double space after a full stop in a sentence. When I did a word processing qualification about 30 years ago – that is exactly what we were taught, but it seems that is not the modern way. But folk on Twitter were getting very irate about it! Fascinating! (god knows what they would think about the overuse of exclamation marks!!)
This is not really about punctuation, it’s my fascination with how people can get so annoyed and upset about something like this.
Another interesting spat was triggered by a famous singer tweeting about hating the word ‘hubby’. Again, I was surprised that the use of a certain (albeit slang) word could cause so much annoyance. My second thought was – well if that’s all they’ve got to worry and complain about, they are doing ok. But then I considered it a bit more and came to the conclusion that it is about connecting with other people, about finding others who think and feel the same way as we do. After all we are social creatures, even us introverts like to have connections with fellow humans sometimes.
I often think gossip works in a similar way. I really try not to engage in gossip, but I can feel that tempting pull when someone says ‘oooh did you hear about so and so….?’ It’s about that slightly conspiratorial connection with someone, a bond and a link with another human. Often gossip can lead to people getting hurt but I think, most of the time that is not the intention when we gossip.
When we feel a bit lonely or isolated, or perhaps need to feel a connection or validation from another – we air what or who annoys us and see if others feel the same way. Or we’ll indulge in a little bit of gossip.
I think the recent fear and uncertainty has heightened this response in people too. I’ve certainly found myself getting irritated by some things, that pre-Covid – I wouldn’t have given a second thought to……