“OMG Harry and Megan are engaged!”
I read this information on the tube this morning and my tummy did a little summersault; how exciting!
I headed to Twitter (as I find myself doing when anything in the world happens, despite the fact I always regret it) and was unsurprisingly brought down to earth with a thud. Not everyone was as happy about this as me.
I find these days, they rarely are.
No, today was not an exciting day for the British public, or at least it wasn’t for the ones who had 280 characters with which to share their opinions.
“They’re adorable” ITV said in a tweet.
“With everyone else having trouble feeding themselves & paying heating bills they’d be more adorable if they paid for it themselves.” said Colin.
Colin’s not the only one who’s not brimming with excitement over this. In fact, of all the tweets that have popped up today, his is positively jubilant.
Between half the country taking this as an opportunity to protest against the huge economic divide in Britain and the other half (found in the Daily Mail comment section mostly) furious that Harry is marrying a mixed race American divorcee, my enthusiasm was quickly extinguished.
Don’t get me wrong, there was some excitement online, but it was ended abruptly. James McVey (of the Vamps), tweeted: “delighted to see this. This #RoyalEngagement illustrates just how far we have come as a nation when celebrating true love, regardless of race or previous marital history. A great step forward. #harryandmeghan.”
A woman called Nicole Krystal was quick to reply: “sorry to disappoint but Britain is still racist James.”, and a lot of people were there to agree with her, myself included… just look at the Daily Mail comment section,
She’s right, of course she is. And she’s well within her rights to make that observation, she is black and she is a woman. James has no way to argue with her, as a white man.
But he wasn’t necessarily wrong.
This IS a great step forward. Obviously it is. And bless him, he didn’t say that in making this move the royals were able to abolished racism. But the world is quick to jump on him nonetheless.
And regardless of all of this; race, gender, marital status, political persuasions, whatever – today is, by the way, a happy occasion.
There is very rarely any good news in the world these days. Between conflict, Donald Trump, racism, poverty, sexism, abuse, murder, low incomes, terror threats and bullying, we rarely find much to celebrate.
So it’s incredibly disappointing that when we are presented with some good news, no one’s there to celebrate with us. We’re just too happy being angry.
And it’s so tiresome.
I have opinions, on pretty much everything. I’ve written a book full of them, I write/talk/rant about them all the time. But so often I am made to feel like they are the wrong ones. Like I’m an idiot for having them. And most frighteningly of all, I spend a lot of time these days feeling like I can’t be bothered to express them.
There are too many people waiting to tare me down, too many people waiting to disagree, too many people to upset.
And it’s exhausting, particularly when you, like me, spend a lot of time online.
People are talking a lot about self care at the moment, self love, doing things for yourself and for your mental wellbeing. I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago about how I would never take a social media detox, claiming to love my addiction. But even I have to admit after today, I can understand why people are doing it. The internet is becoming so draining.
There are suggestions made frequently about unfollowing people who are negative influences on your life.
I don’t want to do that. Because I would end up only following people I agreed with, and that’s downright dangerous. We’d spend our lives living in bubbles, blissfully ignorant and never moving forwards.
We need to hear other people’s opinions, we need to talk, we need to educate one another.
It’s this constant need we have to fight that’s the problem, it’s this constant desperation to be offended, it’s the belief that everyone is entitled to our opinions all the time, with no regard for how the recipient of our comments is feeling.
Disagreeing is healthy.
Telling someone that they are talking PUSSY BULLSHIT because they are voting for a different political party is the absolute opposite.
It’s all very well promoting self love and self confidence and self this and self that, but it’s no good whatsoever if that is just making you selfish. And if your selfishness is making the internet an unpleasant place to be, all the time.
Let’s never stop disagreeing, let’s never stop educating. But please, for the love of all that is good, can we not just be happy that two people in love are getting married???