First, a warning: The post you are about to read is a rant.
Second, a confession: I may or may not follow the Fluffington Post on Facebook.
I totally get the urge to post photos of your cat, and as a pet owner myself, I do so as diligently as new parents post images of their newborns. But moms of felines have a distinct advantage here: No one is going to hide you on Facebook for posting too many pictures of kittens. Why? Because there’s just never enough cute.
Happy dancing cat? No, I want Grumpy Cat. A sweet, innocent kitten playing with ball of yarn? No, let’s have a video of two kittens playing with said yarn. And the screen names of these little critters are mentioned in my social circles more frequently than the names of great leaders, politicians, and thinkers. Obama’s got nothing on Lil Bub. Ghandi? Nah. Give the masses Maru! (As of the publish date of this post, the latter has 400,322 subscribers to his YouTube channel. To offer a little perspective, President Obama has 546,939.)
But isn’t it all just a little… peculiar? Shouldn’t be be kind of embarrassed that, as a whole, we’re more intrigued by Lil’ Bub (the perma-kitten that has taken the world by storm due to its genetic mutations) than we are by the millions of children born every year with birth defects? Also, this: I remember when “crazy cat lady” was an insult, and now the title is worn like a badge of honor. (When did crazy become cool? I guess I didn’t get the memo.)
Now, our feline friends may not necessarily be a fair target. To repeat, I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST CATS or cat ladies. Please do not send me an angry message about my alleged cat phobia or my contribution to our societal demise and hatred of all things good and holy. In fact, I’ll be the first to admit that kittens are arguably some of the most adorable creatures known to man. If you don’t believe me, here’s a video. Watch it.
So, for fun, let’s level the playing field, shall we? Let’s talk about something else that’s gotten a little out of control on the web: fashion, for instance, and related trends perpetuated by Pinterest.
Think eyelids painted with elaborate movie scenes.
The “party nail” concept.
The current movement to place cotton footwear inside your hair to create a sock bun (yes, this is a thing).
These trends would have my great-grandmother (the one with the style and demeanor of one Grace Kelly) spinning in her grave. (And consequently, they’re making me feel a little old.)
Or what about other digital developments, like QR codes, or hashtags? Maybe it has something to do with my career in marketing, but the hashtag explosions in my Instagram feed have me just a little bit buggy. How many do people need? I realize you think your latest #selfie is pretty #cute because you’re having a #goodhairday and you want to show your #friends, but eesh. #ENOUGHALREADY.
The reason these and other online trends are making me borderline batty is that I’m constantly inundated by email, voicemail, junk mail, social media updates, and any more digital noise is enough to make me want to shut it all off, or at the very least, turn down the volume.
It’s one thing to anticipate something new or interesting in the world of pop culture, but it seems like we have become a society of online addicts, hell bent on getting our next inspirational or entertainment fix. We want to see a better cat video, we must catch the next episode of x or our brains will explode, and we have to stream the latest album from x or the future of indie music will surely die.
But when is it enough?
When does Grumpy Cat stop being funny and start being simply, well, grumpy?
Not anytime soon, apparently.
I guess I’ll go and upload some pictures of my #cat to Instagram now.