Pet Peeves


While Pet Peeves has been on hiatus (in print – certainly not practice), there’s nothing like a seriously chapped hide to get you back in the swing of things. The internet age has seen some incredible advancements in pretty much all areas of society and has enabled anyone with a computer and modem to connect with the world in ways never previously imagined – for better or worse. Being online provides immediacy in every aspect; you can book a plane ticket or diagnose an ailment with the click of a button. You can get in touch with someone on the other side of the world within seconds or watch the TV show you missed hours after it airs. It’s pretty amazing, generally, but as with every good thing, one rotten apple always tends to ruin the bunch.

I’m talking about oversharers. You know the ones I mean – I’m sure everyone here has someone on Facebook or Twitter (or any other social networking site) who feels that his or her life is so important, so excruciatingly exciting, that the world needs to know every bleeding detail of it. Hungry? You’ve got 140 characters to tell us what you want for dinner. Walking outside to get the mail? Please let me know, or else I might worry when your status doesn’t change for another whole five minutes!

And don’t even get me started on relationships. It’s fine if you and your honeybear are so in love that you can’t keep your hands off one another, but how about you keep them on each other and not on your computer keyboard, ‘cos I really don’t need to know the ins and outs of your love story. A little comment on one another’s Facebook wall or an inside joke here or there is fine, of course – we all do that – but if you’re social networking your relationship more than you’re living it, there’s a problem.

The great thing about this pet peeve is that there’s a somewhat simple solution – the block/unfollow/hide feature. Girl, don’t even get me started. 90% of my Facebook friends no longer appear on my news feed and I’ve unfollowed countless clowns who couldn’t help but alert the world every time they so much as sneezed. That sort of self-important tomfoolery is one of the easiest ways to earn my scorn.

I realise the irony of what I’m saying here – after all, some really wonderful people have made names for themselves by sharing their experiences online via blogs, etc. It’s this very medium that introduced me to the fantastic Molly, for example. However, there’s a massive difference between writing about life in thoughtful, genuine ways and sharing mundane details in the hopes of being perceived as funny, interesting or admirable. It’s a transparent move that just reeks of desperation and is one of the most unfortunate side effects that the internet has wrought.

This phenomenon is so widespread that there’s an entire website dedicated to documenting it. Of course there is! It hasn’t been updated in a while, but some of the entries are good for a chuckle.

Feel free to share your experiences with the (unfortunately un)elusive oversharer in the comments! What’s the worst example of TMI you’ve seen?

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