Ever get mad over something that probably didn’t deserve the amount of rage you were giving it? Ever get #triggered, as they say? You get pissed, start ranting and riling everyone up within distance about not only what an injustice this is, but why they should be pissed too. Now, how many times during one of these episodes have you had any amount of self awareness? Never, right? It’s always afterwards that you realize your 8 month boycott of Amazon never touched their stock value, and they didn’t lose your order on purpose.
Now more than ever is this true thanks to social media’s ability to instantly expose us to a world of potential grievances. We see something and we fly off the handle. Even worse, we fly off the handle on a public platform designed to agitate both the emotions that caused our tantrum in the first place, and attract the attention of an infinite amount of trolls that feed off unnecessary online outrage. Read an article that Starbucks displaced 1,000 villagers in Nicaragua so they could sell more Cold Brew and you’re rallying all 213 of your followers faster than a Presidential Political Action Team. Someone in government dare to do something? Not on your watch. You’ve got a blog post that’ll put that Sonofabitch away for life once it reaches the right people.
Once upon a time manic pettiness was easy to spot and was almost endearing. Sizzler’s refused to comp Grandpa’s order they got wrong in ’78, and he hasn’t been back since. That’s kind of funny. Sure you’d like to go to Sizzler, but you respect Grandpa sticking to his guns and maintaining his principle so you don’t push the issue. My mom told me my dad once rode around for a year with a sign in the back of his truck telling people not to buy from a local dealership. Stuff like that is almost folksy in its harkening determination.
But in 2017, the outrage has become so perpetual that rather than try to glean any type of principality from this raging behemoth, we’re better off to rage first and ask for forgiveness later. Everyone’s existentially pissed and demanding absolute loyalty over trivial grievances. This is an old joke that’s been making its way around Twitter for a while now, but I still love it.
Maybe if we all had Clippy reminding us to pump the brakes we’d stop burning bridges because no one joined our Whole Foods boycott..