1. You follow someone but they don’t follow you back.
Imagine this conversation 10 years ago:
“Like, I followed her, but she never followed me back. What’s up with that?”
The answer to that just one short decade ago would have been one or more of the following:
(a) “Oh my God, are you stalking somebody?”
(b) “I don’t get it. If you’re following someone, how the hell can they follow you?”
(c) “WTF are you talking about?”
And yet nowadays, not following someone back is considered very decent grounds for deep emotional injury.
We live in exciting times, my friends.
2. Someone you will never meet is wrong.
Once upon a time, the world was full of people who got things wrong, and we never knew about it. Now we feel it incumbent upon ourselves to take them out and shoot them. Metaphorically, of course. Because killing people is wrong. Right?
3. Someone you will never meet says something nasty about a group of people you have also never met, but with whom you vaguely identify.
You know when you open the doors to the Internet? You know, the big blue ones? And the first thing you notice is a gang of people slinging mud at each other indiscriminately?
This is one of my absolute favourites, especially when the subject of their ire is ridiculous. Please see all online arguments referencing books, writing, and self-publishing for details.
4. Someone you will never meet disagrees with something you say.
You miss the olden days, you really do. The days when you said something out loud, whereupon someone in your company might have started looking shifty and uncomfortable, before endeavouring to point out in a broadly polite fashion that their opinion was markedly different from yours, at which point both of you (barring a flatmate I had once) would sense an immediate requirement to retire the subject and discuss puppies instead.
But today is different. Today you must have a keyboard fight to the death, and draw in as many people as possible while you’re at it. Oh, the fun we have! THE FUN WE HAVE. SERIOUSLY.
5. You write to someone you have never before met or spoken to, and they don’t reply.
You can’t BELIEVE that you took 97 seconds out of your time to copy and paste a direct message to Sorta Famous asking them to do that thing for you and they didn’t even have the courtesy to reply! You hate them now. They are dead to you. Except for when you take the opportunity to slag them off in public. Rotters.
6. A famous person you look up to destroys your hopes and dreams, by breaking up with someone.
You just *sob* can’t get over, like *deep shuddering breath* the fact that she didn’t even TRY *unattractive snorting noise* to keep it together with [Brad/the band/that co-star she was never really seeing anyway].
Like, *guttural cry* why??? WHY??? What are you supposed to believe in, now that love/music/the fantasy is gone?? Life is so *nose-blow* pointless. And it’s all HER fault. She destroyed EVERYTHING.
7. Your closest friend makes a public declaration about something you didn’t know.
So Mary got engaged in Paris! Great news! Except she never texted you… and by the time you saw it on Facebook/Instagram, it had been liked by 392 people, 362 of whom you’ve never even heard of.
What is Mary trying to tell you? Are you not friends anymore? Have you been – gulp – ghosted?
She’s just like all the others. A ring on her stupid finger, and she’s so caught up with her stupid wedding that she’s gone and dumped one of her oldest and closest friends.
You hate Mary.
8. Someone you dislike is more popular with people neither of you know.
You met John in your first year at school, but haven’t seen him even once since you left. And sure, John was always really great at sport, and has those funny videos about him kicking what looks like a live cow, but is actually an art installation made out of ice-cream sticks by his Uncle Bob.
But John’s also an asshole. Why can’t people see through him online? Why are people so stupid? Can’t they see that he’s just an attention-seeking bully who used to make fun of kids for wearing the wrong SHOES?
It’s not fair that John has 3,405 more followers than you. It’s downright offensive, is what it is.
9. Someone you know very well is pretending to be something they’re not.
Last night, you and Jane sat in, watching a marathon of The Week In Politics. You shared a packet of chocolate digestives and a large bar of Turkish Delight. She talked about having a bath, but decided against it. You had a good laugh over the guy from the Opposition, whose face looked like someone had slapped him hard while he was tonguing a salt lick.
This morning Jane posted 14 pictures on Instagram of her first in the gym, then out clubbing in a dress she doesn’t own, with the hashtags #WorkHardPlayHard #HangoverFromHell #WeirdestNightEver #DidIReallyGetNaked and #OnlyBoringPeopleStayIn.
Tonight’s going to be awkward.
10. Hundreds of people you don’t know react to something you say, but your best friend doesn’t.
It isn’t often you get to post genuinely good news! But winning that prize at the county show for Most Suggestively Shaped Vegetable is the highlight of your year so far. And the picture of you holding that carrot is just gold! No wonder it got 842 likes.
Except not from Joe. Joe couldn’t even bring himself to say congratulations. And you KNOW he was online because he left that comment on Chuck’s GIF about surfing in the Sahara.
Screw Joe. You never liked him anyway.
Disclaimer: The Internet is an equal opportunities offender. All insults are made on the basis of generalisation and bias. The Internet is not responsible for greater offence taken due to pre-existing conditions of paranoia, insecurity or questionable past trauma. Please handle offence carefully and keep away from ire.