I talk a lot about how much I dislike inspirational quotes. In fact, I talk about it so much that I am in danger of coming across as a permanently premenstrual, life-hating, turbo bitch so I thought it was about time I explained myself. Despite my sometimes cynical outbursts, I am actually an insanely positive person, optimistic to the point of disability, so my issue here is not with offering people a bit of harmless motivation in their lives, it’s that these quotes are everywhere, generally complete and utter bullshit and can sometimes even mask a somewhat more sinister motive.
The problem I have is two-fold. Firstly, the overshare. I’m talking about the people who are responsible for my newsfeed becoming an orgy of other people’s problems. I wonder if the quote-oversharer realises how they are perceived. Maybe they think that they are helping the social networking community by giving them a couple of hundred stupid sentences to read every day. Maybe they think “Hey, this doesn’t apply to me because I’m pretty happy right now but perhaps one or two out of my 500 Facebook friends are having problems at home and this will help put things into perspective.” No. Stop blanket-inspiring. Okay it might help brighten one person’s day but at what cost? What about the other 499 of us who would quite like the internet to be a light-hearted, frivolous way to avoid doing actual work at work? If you really feel like you need to help someone, statistically you’d be helping way more people if you just didn’t post it.
Or maybe the poster themselves is struggling with something and found a quote that relates to their particular problem. Again, why share it on my internet? Stop forcing your problems on me without my permission. I am far from heartless and love nothing more than giving advice if I know it will help, however I’d rather you picked up the phone and asked for my input rather than leaving cryptic quote-hints about your life struggle in my newsfeed and expecting me or someone else to pick up on it. If I could read minds I’d be hanging out with Magneto not decoding your status updates.
Then there are the people who every now and again will just have a colossal quote meltdown. Out of nowhere you get 10, 15, 20 inspirational quotes in the space of 30 minutes from the same person implying a multitude of issues including back-stabbing friends / bullies / inattentive husbands / repressive bosses. Please believe me when I say that this does not make you inspiring, this makes everyone think you are a fucking lunatic. Desperately over-posting how great life can be if you follow your dreams makes it look like you’ve just massacred your entire family and are clinging on to any mitigation you can find; “It’s okay, I found this quote from Einstein that told me if someone doesn’t appreciate me then they don’t deserve to be in my life. So yeah, they’re all dead now.”
Moving on to address the second problem I have with inspirational quotes: The content. The majority of these quotes either do not make sense or are just plain common sense. All too often I find myself asking “Da fuck did I just read?” It’s physically impossible for me to soar like an eagle over the clouds of my life’s problems and even if I could be arsed to grasp such a fucktarded metaphor, I’m still not sure exactly what it’s telling me to do. Talon a motherfucker? I genuinely have no idea.
Of all the inspirational quotes out there, there are two that particularly tug on my tampon, the first of these being “Live in the moment/Live for today” etc. The thing is, I’m not sure what other moment/day I’m supposed to live in. I woke up this morning and tried to live 3 weeks ago when I was getting drunk on German beer at Winter Wonderland, but guess what? I’m on a rig, it’s fucking hail-stoning outside and I just watched a roughneck do a rocket-snot out of his nose onto his boots then try to scrape it off using a selection of small rocks. Despite my best efforts, today is today and it’s impossible to do anything other than live in the moment no matter how good or bad that moment may be. If you think that the arrangement of a whimsical font printed on a backdrop of misty sunsets is going to help you with the bad times then…well, you’re gonna have a bad time.
The second type of quote that annoys me are the “deserve” quotes. These are real nasty. Things like “If someone doesn’t blah then they don’t deserve to be in my life.”
Fuck off. That is offensively passive aggressive and not very nice at all. You know full well that half of your more caring Facebook friends will be wondering if they are the cause of your public anxiety, but you like that. You like the drama. Instead of growing a set of balls and calling that person up to sort out whatever mundane issue you have, you choose to post a snide remark, thinly-veiled as a motivational quip to let all of cyberspace know that someone was a dick to you. This might sound harsh to some, but honestly, I don’t care. And if you are the kind of person who needs to post a weird quote in order to let me know that I personally pissed you off, then I’m genuinely happy that I pissed you off, you deserve it for being a pussy.
But the award for worst inspirational speaker of all time has to go to Marilyn Monroe. My word that girl can talk some amount of horse-shit. I don’t understand what the fixation with her is. Some girls see her as a symbol of feminism; a strong, no-nonsense, beautiful woman with giant breasts who used sex as a weapon and died in a pool of her own vomit after overdosing on the pills that she relied on so heavily to make her feel artificially happy. I like her movies, I like her face, I like her flirtatious, sexed-up 50’s image. I’ve always thought that she was beautiful and talented but not, in my view, inspirational. I’m reading Malala Yousafzai’s biography at the moment. Now that shit right there is inspirational.
The use of motivational quotes to help you in your daily life does work for some, even me on occasion believe it or not (my personal favourite being “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels” except Banoffee Pie obvs…..and curry…..oh and maybe KFC). For example, you might be out for a run and sweating so hard that you feel like your ass is melting down the back of your legs but you have a little sentence tucked away in your head that helps push you through that wall. That’s great and I believe that it works but there is no reason to repetitively post it online every time you do some exercise. This is what it looks like to everyone else: “I’m jogging, I’m a better person than you because you are not jogging.” Don’t be a quote-cunt.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is be inspired. Be inspired by words, art, literature, history, sport, whatever you want, but for the love of God pipe down, print it off and stick it on your wall. What works for you doesn’t necessarily work for the entire fucking internet and I know I’m not alone when I say I’m tired of my newsfeed being hijacked by the same old weak, lazy, vague nonsense every day of the god damn week. But I’m not one to sit here and moan, oh no, I’m a do-er and I have come up with a top-notch plan to bring this all to a well over-due end. The next time you find yourself googling for inspiration in the form of a quote, replace the word “quote” with the word “meme” and post that instead. Please, it’s Christmas 🙂 xx