ALM_8780“Be controversial.”

That’s one of the pieces of advice people are always giving bloggers. If you want to create a “buzz” about your blog, people say, you just have to write something controversial. Then people will share your post, and it’ll go viral, and you’ll be internet famous, just like Zoella – and all because you were brave enough to be controversial!

Now, I’m NOT brave enough to be controversial. Or not on purpose, anyway. Because being controversial just makes people yell at you, and when people yell at me? I cry. Always. I can’t stop myself. No matter how unreasonable they’re being, or how little their opinion matters to me, if they’re yellin’, I’m cryin’. And no one likes a crybaby, do they?

Sometimes, though, I say things that are controversial without even trying. Like the time I said I liked a pair of shoes and someone told me I should be put to death. Or pretty much ANY time I venture a negative opinion about ANY item of clothing, and people are just absolutely astonished by the idea that not everyone likes exactly the same things. Offering an opinion on the internet – ANY opinion – is a dangerous thing, really. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. No, today I’m here to talk about the totally banal things you can mention on your blog, which are almost guaranteed to generate conversation. I’m talking about burning issues (no pun intended) like…

4 unexpectedly controversial blog topics that are practically guaranteed to generate lots of comments for your blog

To iron or not to iron?

Do you iron your clothes? Or are you a NORMAL person, who has a LIFE, thanks very much? This is the debate that will ensue if you dare to admit to being An Ironer. Most people on the internet don’t seem to own an iron, you see, and most of those who don’t are quite proud of this fact, and disparaging of those who DO iron. If you’d like to generate a lot of comments in a short space of time, simply mention the fact that you own an iron, and you’re not afraid to use it: if you REALLY want to stir the pot, and are prepared for an epic backlash, in which it will be repeatedly insinuated that you obviously have way too much time on your hands, and are essentially the biggest loser on the planet, just say you also iron your bedsheets – then hunker down and prepare for the storm…

Shoes on/shoes off?

The internet is roughly divided into people who always remove their shoes indoors, and who think anyone who doesn’t do this is a disgusting slob, and those who don’t remove their shoes, and think those who insist on it are a bit uptight, really. Whichever side of this argument you fall on, you can guarantee a furious backlash from those on the other side – it’s like the Windows/MAC debate, basically, only much more heated.

Dip your toe (either shod or unshod) into these troubled waters at your peril – it will generate a LOT of discussion, but it probably won’t end well. (Oh, and be prepared to be told at least a dozen times that Canadians and Japanese people ALWAYS remove their shoes. Then prepare to be told the same thing a few dozen MORE times. Did you know that in Canada and Japan, it’s really frowned upon not to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home? Because in Canada and Japan, it’s really frowned upon not to remove your shoes when entering someone’s house. It’s also like that in Canada. Oh, and Japan! And Canada!)

Weather: it exists

If you mention the weather in any way at all, everyone who reads that post will want to tell you what THEIR weather is like, and how it differs from your weather. You’ve probably seen this on Facebook, where someone will upload a picture of snow (for the benefit of their friends who don’t have windows or eyes, I assume?), and then everyone on their friends list will line up to make comments like, “We’ve got it too!” or “No snow here!” Controversial, though? Well, you wouldn’t think so, but if you want to MAKE it controversial, simply express an opinion about the weather (“I don’t like autumn!” is a good one, as EVERYONE likes autumn…), and then watch people line up to tell you how WRONG you are to feel this way, and to explain that SOME people would be GLAD to have your crappy weather, so you should be grateful for it!

The lesson: people are perpetually amazed by the fact that different parts of the world/country get different types of weather. Use this knowledge at your own risk.

Parenting: you’re doing it wrong

I don’t speak from personal experience here, obviously, but I’ve noticed that parenting is the MOST controversial thing a person can do, and that, according to the internet, every single person is parenting incorrectly. The best way to take advantage of this state of affairs is to post a photo of a baby strapped into a car-seat, so that everyone can point out that the straps are fastened incorrectly (OR ARE THEY?), and then argue about it for the rest of their lives, basically. The straps aren’t tight enough! They should be higher! No they shouldn’t! And so on and so forth, forever and ever, amen.

So, there you have it: four weird things that people love to debate online. So, tell me:

Do YOU iron your bedsheets?

  1. I had no idea ironing was such a topic of intense debate! For what it’s worth, I iron nothing. I have noticed the whole parenting thing, but I’m generally told that I shouldn’t comment because I don’t have kids. The fact that I took care of a step son for 12 years doesn’t seem to matter. If you didn’t push it out yourself, you’re not entitled to an opinion because changing a baby nappy when it’s not YOUR actual baby is totally different, apparently.

  2. To be honest, it never occurred to me to iron my sheets. Have I been doing life wrong all these years? Oh, the opinions on parenting. I have a lot of opinions about the fact that people are so opinionated about being a parent. Have you ever entered the homeschool versus regular school debate? I don’t recommend it if you value your life and sanity.

  3. I like ironing. I find the sight and the feel of wrinkles distressing and it’s easier for me to put the ironing board in front of the window, watch the squirrels, think thoughts, and sing songs to myself for an hour a week than it is to persuade myself I’m comfy in creased clothes. My Roomie though hangs around waiting to snatch things away from me because he thinks I’m indulging in some hideous masochism that it’s his duty to discourage!

  4. omgosh the SHOE thing. before the internet, I had no idea it was a *thing*. my husband’s family is Japanese, and so they remove their shoes, but guess what? if you happen to forget or don’t want to, no one cares. I don’t know what everyone else is doing with their shoes, but California life involves mostly walking from your house, to dry concrete, to your car, to more dry concrete, into a home.

    I do not iron my sheets but I do sometimes iron my jeans. and t-shirts.

  5. Noooooooo, but you’re welcome to do it for me.

    I’m constantly surprised by which throwaway remarks in my blog generate a lot of responses – they’re never (so far) rude or argumentative comments; it just seems as if people love to make small talk in comments sections (but not to respond to anything particularly heartfelt).

    As for parenting – the worst judgements come from people who don’t have kids! It’s amazing how people’s very strict attitudes about good and bad parenting ease off when they’re dealing with unfathomable toddlers for themselves.

  6. I’ve contributed to some of these, well the ironing thing, and since my husband retired I no longer iron his clothes, so when we go out my are (usually) ironed and his are badly creased. Do I care- not if he doesn’t

  7. Oh man, add me to the “I don’t own an iron” camp because I freely admit to being lazy. BUT SERIOUSLY why would I or anyone else care if someone wants to iron their bedsheets? I had no idea it was such a hot topic…. I mean, really. Same for shoes. I remove my shoes when coming in, simply because I dislike dirty floors, but never in a million years would I argue with someone over it. This post was too funny!

  8. My mum use to say to me, ” when you get married, you will be ironing every day.” To this day I haven’t iron once in my life – now you can imagine what kind of discussion I have with my mum over that! Great post. xx

  9. Is there a category for those of us who own an iron, but only iron things when that weird hyper-productive mood comes on? Because ironed clothes look nice, but also ironing is a pain. Here’s to things that don’t wrinkle!

  10. SO TRUE. Except that most of the weather discussion I get immediately degenerates into pathetic one-upmanship about how much MORE terrible THEIR summers are. About 80% of Americans are convinced that THEIR summers are the hottest and humidest and most miserable in the country, and every elsewhere is a wimpy loser exaggerating for sympathy.

  11. I live in Canada …and absolutely hate the ‘remove footwear’ rule. I now bring an extra pair to don and hope the hosts think that they are pristine, never worn outside shoes instead of being in the exact same state as the ones I took off.

  12. About the shoe thing – if you don’t remove your shoes when in someone’s home in Sweden, or any Northern country actually, you are considered rude! We think it’s gross; you bring in mud and dirt and all sorts of stuff that’s on the ground. Off course it’s different in public spaces like museums, but in someone’s HOME! Big no 😉

  13. I iron what needs ironing. Some of my sheets get a weird wrinkle right where they fold over the blanket, next to my face, so those I iron. Others I snatch warm right out of the dryer then press with my hands as I fold them to put away. I currently have one shirt which requires ironing or I can leave it be and it attains a cool, textured look. I iron my slacks, but not as regularly as I should. I live in a vacation hotspot and it fascinates me to see tourists with impeccably pressed clothes, not even hanger marks! THEY need to get a life.
    And if you had seen some of the items I have seen in parking lots, you would never wear street shoes into a home again.

    1. Lol, it’s perfectly possible to quickly iron an outfit and sill have a life, I promise! It only takes me a couple of minutes to run an iron over whatever I’m going to wear that day (if it needs it, obviously) and I’d rather spend those two minutes ironing than walk around all day feeling uncomfortable! It’s funny to think of people potentially judging me for NOT having creases in my clothes, though!

  14. I am with you on the ironing. Sorry – I work in a an extremely formal office environment where guys wear dry cleaned and ironed clothes everyday. The least I can do is not wear crumpled clothes – its just looks really sloppy to do so. I am amazed there are people who don’t iron clothes than need ironing! One solution would be to get a steam iron – this is what I usually use.

  15. The section about the weather literally made me lough out loud!
    Your saying that weather pictures are for people who don’t have windows or eyes killed me! 😀

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