How to Complain without Being Annoying

Sometimes in moments of exceptional frustration, I complain to Google. “My hair is so staticky” (and Google dutifully shows results for “my hair is so staticy.” Seriously, who knows how to spell out the quality of having static?)

Occasionally I will peruse the offerings if something up top catches my eye. But often, just the act of typing my petty complaint makes me feel a bit better.

I believe some complaints just need to be spoken. Putting words to the frustration somehow lessens the irritation.

Google is perfect for this–like an impermanent diary you can fill up with your most asinine issues–the ones that aren’t even worthy of the diary (which itself is often dedicated to childish ramblings). You’d be a really annoying person if you constantly aired out your trivialities to your husband or friends–or you’d be a Seinfeld-esque comedian.

I believe the real benefit to the Google-complaint is that when a hit pops up, it’s justification. Other people are annoyed by this same thing, or have had a similar experience of *minor* frustration, or have endured the same insignificant failure that you are now experiencing. Ah! I’m not the only one who finds infomercials insulting! (Actually, I found out that I’m really not the only one–there’s actually a Facebook group for this. For real, Infomercials–I can butter my own toast without shredding the bread. I don’t need your Amazing New Toast-buttering Tool for $19.95 + shipping&handling. Please.) And of course, I found my comrades in infomercial irritation by Googling… It’s the relief of realizing it’s not just me.

In an ironic twist, I can’t tell if anyone else does this. It’s actually pretty difficult to Google things about Google. But in any event, the realization that you are not alone is an important one for us humans. You don’t want to be the outlier–that’s dangerous and lonely territory.

But then again, we do value being unique. It seems there’s a sweet spot–where we stand a bit apart but not so far that we can’t relate to everyone else.

Lady Gaga Vanity Fair Jan 2012 Cover by Annie Leibovitz

In some ways, I think of the self-styled life in those terms. As I’ve explained, I am irritated by the inflexibility of the system that we seem to be stuck in–that we go to school, get a job, work a lot and enjoy life little. But I don’t want to remove myself from society and live on a secluded island either, so it seems I somehow have to stay within, or at least near, the lines.

And besides, there are certain perks to playing by the rules and not straying too far from the rest, like having constant access to the internet and the ability to complain away to the little search bar in Google.

From The

So please tell me–have you ever used Google as your counsellor for petty issues?

6 responses to “How to Complain without Being Annoying

  1. I do this often – not so much for the smaller things, but that is a genius idea – but for bigger things I’m stressing out about. Just seeing the list of yahoo answers that show up in the google results with the exact same problem makes me feel better. I generally don’t even click on them because people who respond to yahoo answers are usually terrible… but I completely understand where you’re coming from!

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