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…
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: