writing a letter

How outraged are you, I mean really?

Mark Rants 5 Comments

I’m outraged. Outraged I tell ya! Outraged by the amount of mock outrage there is on social media. It’s nothing short of, well, outrageous.

What ever happened to being a little annoyed? A tad miffed? Moderately irked?

I might be wrong but I’m pretty sure this level of mock outrage is a modern phenomenon. It wasn’t always such. It wasn’t always so easy.

I have a theory though. Outrage is instant. A primeval emotion yet to be stifled by rationale and reason. The initial reaction to a click-baited headline void of any context.

Don’t get me wrong, it may prove justified in which case by all means be outraged, but let’s at least take a moment to pause for thought.

If only there was a way to test this outrage before foaming at the Facebook mouth.

writing a letterWell, I may just have the answer. By following this method I’ve managed to reduced my outrage by over 90%. It’s a little old school but go with it.

So you’re outraged. You reach for your phone.


Step away from the screen. Back. Further. Further still. Look, just give me your phone.

We’re going to write… a strongly worded letter. (For any millennial reading this, think email without a delete key).

What you’ll need is some paper and a pen. Ideally writing paper or, OK, printer paper will do.

Not that pen though. Nothing good ever came from a letter penned in green ink. Only a crazy person goes green. You’ll want blue or black; and possibly red if you feel the need to shout.

What, none of them are working?

Nope, I don’t know who puts dead pens back in the drawer either. Try licking the nib.

Still not working? They probably need binning but stick them back in the drawer for now, you can use mine.

Still outraged? OK, let’s do this.

Who are we writing to? The editor of the letters page, obviously. You’ll find their address in the newspaper. Try the recycling bin. Yeah sorry, we used it as a makeshift tablecloth for last weeks curry but if you carefully peel the pages apart you should find it towards the back.

You seem a little less enthused and dare I say it, your outrage a tad tempered?

Keep going though, otherwise I don’t have a blog post.

Now where were we? Ah, the letter.

Whoa, slow down soldier, you can’t go straight in with an ill-informed rant! There’s an etiquette to follow. Research to be done. Facts to check.

Two sides to every story n’ all that. You never know, there may be a hidden agenda in what you read.

You seem a little calmer already.

Now, for our first draft we’ll jot down some… yep, draft. Did I not mention there’s no delete key?

Come back, we’re outraged remember. This matters!

It was a Chicken Jalfrezi and it was really tasty but stop getting distracted. Remember why we’re doing this. Focus!

Why was it you were so outraged again? Nope, green pens were my annoyance, yours came before that.

Oh and one last thing, once you’ve written your final draft you’ll be needing a stamp.

Sorry, I don’t have any and the post office is closed half day on a Wednesday. You can buy a book of 6 from the corner shop though. £3.90.

I know, outrageous right! On the plus side, you’ll have five stamps left with which to share that case of daylight robbery, but you can’t put a price on outrage, can you?

I’ll not lie, for someone so outraged you’re beginning to sound a little … apathetic.

And don’t forget to buy the paper a week on Thursday to see if it’s printed.

Likes? Why do you need likes?

Shares? Someone might leave the paper on the bus if that’s what you mean?

While we’re waiting, let’s take stock.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how outraged are you now? Wow, that’s quite a drop. I’d say that was less outrage more… a mild grump?

Anyway, here’s your phone back. Tweet away.

Love it, cats REALLY don’t like cucumbers do they!

Comments 5

  1. Haha, thing is I used to write outraged letters. I was very excited about getting a letter printed in a monthly sci-fi magazine called Starburst when I was a teen, saying how crap the movie ‘Aliens’ was. It took a month to get printed, and then a month later came the angry readers replying to my letter. These days that exchange would take minutes and be lost in the torrent of opinion noise that surrounds everything, whether on Twitter or a comment thread.

    1. Post

      I’m totally with you on your teenage review of Aliens. I thought much the same with the Star Wars films but wisely kept that to myself, coward that I am.

  2. Social media is just a gift to the green ink brigade. Not only can you say what you want, but you can do it anonymously. I don’t always think it is a force for good in society. Love the idea of slowing down and taking tiem to write a letter. It makes a lot of sense. great post Mark.

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      Cheers John. Got a love hate relationship with social media. Inadvertently created my own bubble of opinions I agree with but occasionally stray away and what I find terrifies me!

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