Satire | Normalize being the problem

By Jessica Snyder, Senior Staff Columnist

At some point or another, no matter where you find yourself in life, you’re inevitably going to find yourself being the problem — some of us more than others. Well, don’t stop now! Heck, if you haven’t started, now might be the best time to!

Whether it has to do with school, relationships, friendships, work, family or just day-to-day life, creating problems is beneficial for you in unimaginable ways. At the heart of it, where there’s a problem, there’s a solution. You might be the problem, but that makes everyone around you become a problem solver. Don’t think of yourself as a burden if you find your better judgment leaning you towards creating problems — think of yourself as a catalyst for strengthening global morality. Lean into your problem-creating ability — it’s a gift!

The bottom line is that being the problem is okay, but it’s not something that our society normalizes and appreciates. Without problems, some of the best solutions couldn’t be made. First, we need to learn what goes into creating — and maintaining — a good problem. 

One of the best ways to do this is to learn how to effectively gaslight people, but it’d be foolish to think that you could ever be good at something like that. In fact, no matter how much someone like you reads up on the subject, you’d probably never be able to fully understand it. It’s probably just a matter of who you are, but you can’t really do anything about that. This is a prime example of gaslighting. Gaslighting is a way to psychologically manipulate others by initiating self-doubt

Obviously, this is problem-worthy material in and of itself. Cancel culture is on the rise these days, so what better way to be the problem than try to actively get yourself canceled in every way imaginable? Beat cancel culture — by setting a world record. 

Some of my favorite ideas have to do with betta fish or hamster care, namely the fact that you can’t put them into small enclosures. If you aren’t providing these pets with a 5-star hotel and a private vegan chef, you’re the problem, point blank. So, go all out and put your betta fish in a washed out liquor handle — or not washed, I don’t care — and your hamster in a Kaytee CritterTrail. But these are just examples, there are plenty of other ways to get canceled — these are just arguably the quickest. So, get creative!

Gatekeeping is also something that you can do to be a general nuisance. The term is something that has appeared more recently in popular discourse, generally meaning the act of withholding information. While gatekeeping can sometimes be beneficial and appropriate, if you’re actively trying to be a problem don’t worry too much about that. So, if someone asks you the name of that new Taylor Swift song you’re listening to, don’t be afraid to tell them, “Oh, it’s just a small indie singer from Pennsylvania, you wouldn’t know about her.”

Contrary to popular belief, the world actually does revolve around you. Copernicus was actually completely and utterly misguided — Ptolemy was a little closer to the truth because you reside on Earth. The truth is, from the moment you’re born, your life is going to revolve around you. That’s just how it works. You should be living for yourself and no one else — if you want to be the problem, so be it. If you create problems for others, that should be their own issue to deal with. In this world, it’s everyone for themselves whether you’re problematic or not. 

Girlbossing is one of the best ways to be the problem if you’re femme-presenting. You can ghost, manipulate and put others down all in the name of feminism. I mean, if you’re a girl you can’t be the problem — that’s a man’s job. Supporting both women’s rights and women’s wrongs is one of the best things you can do to be a problematic girlboss toxic feminist queen. 

Dating culture has become one of the most quick and effective ways to be the problem since the creation of dating apps. These apps are so much like a game, and we should be treating them as such. The person on the other side of the screen definitely isn’t real, and definitely doesn’t have a complex set of individual emotions. Bored? Ghost them — you’re too emotionally unavailable anyway. Plus, it’s okay to be the problem. 

There are numerous amounts of philosophers that specialize in morality, but notice that none of them are ever deemed to be right. That’s because, inevitably, the way society thinks about morals will shift over time. Remember when alcohol was outlawed, or when it was acceptable and encouraged to marry your cousin? Problems don’t transcend time, but rather stay stuck in the era where they’re unacceptable. My point being, life is short, so consider being the problem because everyone else might be doing what you’re doing in the future. 

Just as problems change with time, they’re also subjective to different people. What might be a problem for you might not be for someone else. With that being said, do as you please and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When in doubt, blame it on someone else. 


Jessica Snyder primarily writes about the little things in life. Write to her at [email protected].