student life

#FAIL – The love affair we all have with failure

Something strange has happened in Britain recently, have you noticed? Something truly quite bizarre.

Something strange has happened in Britain recently, have you noticed? Something truly quite bizarre.  I’m not referring to false widow spiders taking over our schools, or wallabies taking over our graveyards, although both of these phenomena are rather odd. What I’m referring to is this new found love affair we all have with failure, which is taking over our lives. We’re mad for it, and it seems it’s never been cooler to cock-up than it is in 2013, even more so if we tell everyone about it afterwards, using the phrase “epic fail”.

Come on, how many times have you uttered that phrase today? No? Not once? LIAR! How about when you knocked that full glass of water all over your keyboard at work this morning?


If you didn’t say it, someone else definitely will have, FAIL! Or what about when you attempted to walk through those double doors in your hurry to rush home, only to walk straight into one of them? FAIL!Apparently these opportunities for a ‘fail’ as it’s now known, should now be welcomed with open arms. Long gone are the days of brushing our mistakes under the carpet with a stiff upper lip and carrying on regardless.

A problem shared…

Nowadays we take it on the chin and ask someone to take a picture so we can share it on Facebook. We shout it from the rooftops so everyone can hear, and if they can’t then we Tweet about it with the now customary hashtag #fail.

And why shouldn’t we? It’s liberating right? Let’s all revel in our cock ups and the embarrassment they bring! The next time you jump off the train at the wrong stop and spend an extra hour and a half getting home via Timbuktu, Facebook it! Or fall asleep on the train after a boozy school night and wake upin Timbuktu, only to discover there are no more trains to get home… Tweet it!

When you think about it, a lot of our fails are associated with public transport. My specialty is definitely leaving my dinner on the tram, rather than taking it home and putting it in the oven. Therefore my Tweets usually read something along the lines of…

The best fails though are the ones that transcend our everyday lives with their gravity and enter into folklore as they get shared around in the pub though good old-fashioned word of mouth. These fails I find are usually associated with email communication and, in particular, the ‘reply all’ button.

Reply all?

Many a career has been ended through the (mis) use of this button which for some bizarre reason Microsoft continue to place right next to the replybutton. We’ve all got our very own ‘reply all’ horror story I’m sure, so I won’t need to describe the wave of sickness that engulfs you when you hit send and realise what you’ve done. You’ll never move faster to your outbox than you do in that moment of panic hoping, just hoping, you haven’t just told everyone in the office what you think of your boss. As far as fails go, telling the whole company that the MD is a massive shit is just about as bad as it gets.

The best thing you can do is share that email with the world, send it viral and take pride in your own stupidity. So, the next time you spend the night alone at the Premier Inn in Brighton, or get hideously drunk and text your ex to say you’re “in the neighbourhood and just thought they should know”, remember that sharing is caring. Embrace that fail for all it’s worth because let’s face it, what else are you going to do?