Yesterday the world went into shock, from the minute that I made the mistake of checking my phone after accidentally waking up too early at 5.45am, the whole day was a daze. You didn't need to be American to feel the huge shock waves that Trump's victory caused and I was fascinated watching social media erupt into tales of despair, cries of victory and most notably, throngs of debate. Remarkably I only had to unfollow one person on Twitter (not nearly as many as I was expecting to) and that was not even because the man in question had voted for Trump, but because of the nasty, negative, self-righteous way he told everyone about it. All in all, yesterday, to my mind was not a good day. Not a good day for equality, not a good day for democracy and not a good day for America, and I, like a lot of others, had gone to bed with a rather heavy head last night, trusting that tomorrow would be a brighter day.
And I think John Lewis must have known that, because today they released their 2016 Christmas Advert, which is arguably for many, the best part of the whole festive period. So this morning, I watched the advert, I loved the advert, and I tweeted about the advert. I was feeling pretty good, things were starting to look better. 2016 has been an undeniably shitty year with the deaths of David Bowie, Terry Wogan, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman and Prince, the Brexit catastrophe and now of course Donald Tosser-Trump to name but a few, so it was actually with a glimmer of joy in my belly that I shared the advert this morning.... and then someone replied with this:
FFS!!!! Way to ruin my mood! We all know the feeling of crushing disappointment that we get when we find something that we think is really great and then we get to school, or work, or a party and we tell our friends or family and they then all tell you that it's shit and it's a terrible idea, it puts a downer on your whole mood and whatever it was that you liked so much you now have to look at in a different way. It's a crap feeling. And that's what I felt this morning after seeing that tweet, a whole new wave of disappointment crashed over me. (Not even being a drama queen, just in one of those moods).
Yesterday, most things that were said on social media, I forgave. It was a mental day and people, I felt, ought to be able to express themselves in any which way. Something BAD had happened and everyone wanted to talk about it. What did this mean for women's rights? What did it mean for Obamacare? Was our future safe? Big questions, and there were frustrations to be aired.
But today? Today, a company released a Christmas advert, which was adorable. It just was.
There was a dog, which is great. There was a sweet little girl, which is great. There is a trampoline, which is great. There are the cutest fluffiest animals jumping up and down ON A trampoline, which is great. It means Christmas is coming, which is great. Butttttt. Then I checked Twitter and I saw these...
And so it went on. Bah fucking humbug eh?
I want to go and find these people and SHAKE them. YES, it HAS been a crappy year, we ALL KNOW THAT. But it's CHRISTMAS. It's sunny. The world is still spinning. We are alive. There is a dog on a trampoline. It's just an advert. CHEER UP.
There are some things that we are OKAY not knowing. A smoker doesn't want to know at 3am after they've broken up with their other half and they are really stressed out that cigarettes give them cancer. Someone training for the marathon doesn't need to know that one time, one guy died doing it. Someone who has a job in marketing that they've wanted for years doesn't need to know that they pay isn't great and that so many people hate it. Someone who has just shelled out a small fortune on a new dress doesn't need to know that the red one that they were thinking about is more flattering. And people who are busy enjoying something on the television in the run up to Christmas don't need to know that you think that it's shit.
You're being a damp squib, and it's boring.
Yes, there is a time and a place for being unhappy. Yes, social media is a great forum to vent frustrations as and when they come about. But at times like this, when a large chunk of the world could probably do with a big old cuddle, do we not think that just this one time, it might be nicer to turn that frown upside down and start adhering once more to the golden rule:
If you haven't got anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.