Have you seen the weather?

Unless you don’t have Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Yikyak or windows in your house, you’ll have, no doubt, noticed that it has been snowing recently.

Almost as common as the posts proclaiming the breaking news of the snow are those irascibly condemning the former in as maliciously sarcastic a manner as possible. Even I, when scrolling through various social media domains, noted annoyance slithering onto my expression at the avalanche of sleet posts even as I, myself, was posting my own contribution to the trend for my followers to tiredly roll their eyes at.

So why is it that despite everyone collectively agreeing that doing this is annoying, so many of us simply cannot resist alerting our online communities to something everyone’s already noticed for themselves- especially for something as ubiquitous as the outside climate?

It’s an often remarked-upon stereotype that the behaviour of the weather is a Brit’s favourite topic of conversation. We talk about it when we walk into shops/cafes/bars (usually accompanied with an exasperated sigh and a hurried removal of hat/gloves/sunglasses etc). “Hell, it’s wet/cold/hot” we announce to a bored staff member who’s had the same conversation eight times that day. We talk about it to our hairdressers. We talk about it to our pets.

The rise of social media has only exacerbated this. I think the only reason we notice our instinctive need to comment on the weather on days like today is that snow (like similar irregularities such as thunder or a particularly crimson sunset) is so relatively uncommon that we deem it remarkable enough for pinning to our online profile. We still talk about rain far more often but no one posts pictures of it on Twitter because it’s such a common occurrence your laptop screen would just end up looking like an empty fish tank.