Morrissey once sang We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful and I’m starting to think that, sadly, it’s not too far from the truth.
On one hand I’ve always thought of us Brits as a nation who love backing the underdog, but I also think we like setting people up for a fall.
Take the case of Lucy Spraggan – she’s the girl on the X Factor who plays the guitar and sings her own songs.
For the past couple of years everyone I’ve spoken to about the show has claimed that it’s “getting boring” or “it’s just the same every week” – and now we have a contestant who takes the talent of performers like Lily Allen and Kate Nash and adds a touch of Victoria Wood’s satirical madness.
In short, she’s radical and she’s brilliant.
Yet within five minutes the internet had gone mad with cries of “she’s so arrogant!”, “what an ego!” and “why can’t she do covers like everybody else!” – We seem to have an inherent dislike of anyone who has a talent and isn’t afraid to show it.
Just because somebody is good at something doesn’t mean they’re narcissistic.
It’s time we stopped being jealous and actually applauded people for having the guts to go out and use their skills to make a difference to their lives.
The internet gives us a voice. Chatrooms, forums and social networks mean that the banter that used to stay at the pub can now be seen by millions of people – including those who it’s directed at.
Regardless of what you think of the X Factor’s Rylan (or, Ashley Cole, your bosses at the FA) if you choose to voice your frustrations publicly it’s going to be read by the person involved.
Working in radio I used to experience these ‘internet trolls’ all the time.
There used to be an adage – “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” – and I bet you Lucy Spraggan could write a blooming good song about it.