02/02/2017 10:29 GMT | Updated 03/02/2018 05:12 GMT

Please, Please Just Let People Be Excited About Beyoncé's Pregnancy Announcement


Do you know what? This time a year ago, I'd probably have been right there with you. An extraordinarily wealthy woman on the other side of the world who I'm probably never going to meet has announced she's having twins? Yeah, cool. Who cares? Why does this affect me?

I'd probably have rolled my eyes at the hysterical headlines, and scrolled right past every piece of over-hyped speculation that came up on my Twitter timeline. I mightn't have gone as far as voicing quite how ridiculous I thought everyone was being on social media, admittedly, for fear of being a wet blanket. But I'd certainly have thought it.

The thing is, though, the world's a very different place compared to how it was a year ago. I'm now at a point where I have to take a deep breath before I go onto Facebook or Twitter, because I know that I'm going to be opening myself up to a deluge of nightmarish headlines. A point where every time I get a news alert on my mobile, my stomach drops with fear for what dystopian events are about to play out.

Dramatic? Probably, but these are scary times we're living in, and I know a lot of people are feeling that way too.

That's why when Beyoncé, without warning, dropped the news that she was expecting two babies on Wednesday evening, my overwhelming feeling as I saw my Twitter feed overtaken with the announcement was actual relief.

It felt like for the first time in a long while, people were collectively excited about something. People were all expressing something other than their feeling of impending doom. Twitter users were pretty much all on the same page, and that page wasn't just "oh good God what has he done now?"

A few hours later, though, the tone seemed to have changed a bit, and I started noticing more and more dismissive comments along the lines of "Beyoncé's pregnant? Who cares" and "you don't even know this woman, why does it matter if she's having a kid?".

Sure. Shall we just get back to talking about the depressing state the world is in? We could continue discussing the relentless stream of doom that the news has turned into over the past few months? Or perhaps we could just forego conversation completely, and wait silently underground for the end of days?

Fair enough, if Beyoncé's borderline-ridiculous pregnancy photo-shoot is the only thing that's grabbed your attention in 2017, then you probably should get yourself up to speed with current affairs. But at the same time, if people are finally feeling joyful about a news headline for the first time since - to pluck a date completely out of thin air - Friday 20 January, then surely you can just let them get on with it?

Surely you don't actually need to burst people's bubble, when the alternative is so grim? Surely just this one time you can put your own cynicism aside and allow people to enjoy five minutes of respite, before the avalanche of terrible news starts up again?

Beyoncé's pregnancy announcement isn't the most important thing in the news right now, of course, and to suggest otherwise is silly at best and dangerous at worst. But by the same token, if people are going to derive even the smallest amount of comfort out of it, why would you want to drag them back down again? And more importantly, what do you actually get out of making them feel bad?