- People like lists, because they make things easier to glance at than actually read. You don’t need to worry about paragraphs or the flow of argument when it is already processed for you in bullets. Let’s all be baby birds that need Mama Internet to prechew what we consume.
- Reading these numbered posts makes you feel like you’ve done something or learned something, when really it’s just as much a diversion as animated gifs. The only way to really improve to is to do the work. There are no shortcuts. Stop clicking.
- Related, here are 10 Ways to Get Smarter, Be More Productive, and Do Everything with Zero Effort.
- Seriously though, the more I see these kinds of headlines the more I am going to do this kind of subversive post to criticize how insubstantial most of the buzzworthy Internet content is.
- Read a motherf**kin’ book.
- Full beards (Aw, you can’t grow one? That’s OK, that’s why they made razors. Please don’t try to grow out your beard again if it isn’t a full beard. Really.)
- Not texting back
- Running in the street before sunrise everyday instead of after work maybe once a month
- Going to the gym because your body is not good enough and never will be but you’ll still take pictures of it everyday
- Drinking pre-workout powder drink even when you are not going to LIFT, but this is basically the same as doing speed
- Rolling up pants just so, but definitely not high water pants
- The fear of going out to cool places because you are so self-conscious about your clothes
- Hey, your shoes are definitely not as cool as that guy’s
- Hey, you are spending too much mental energy on clothing, why don’t you just read a book or something?
- Leaving negative reviews on Yelp gets you more compliments
- Backing out from what you said you would do because of your ideals
- Jennifer Lawrence’s hair
- Hurricanes and/or typhoons
- Pumpkin spice latte (PSL)
- Tofurkey and/or turducken
- Ryan Gosling
- Austin, TX (ATX)
- Somewhere in CO, go snowboarding and enjoy a fine standard of living
- Facial hair
- You shouldn’t wear your Uggs anymore
- But you can wear Crocs now and be cool
- Flannel and/or gingham, don’t be lame in single colors or those combination long-sleeve-short-sleeve shirts
- At that, sleeves rolled up just so, not too loose and not high enough to provoke anxiety on others
- Don’t be too enthusiastic, ever; others will either get annoyed or scared or permanently label you as something
- iPhones or whatever the hell the coolest Android phone is, pick a side
- Siphon-brewed coffee, ask for it!
- Not being in a relationship
- Pretending to like coffee
- Pretending to like running
- Eating healthy only when others are looking
- Subversive, self-referential lists like this one written to stroke the author’s ego rather than satisfy an audience
I think what’s popular on the Internet changes at a speed that’s much too fast for me. I feel like a dunce when I don’t understand my current roommate’s references. My hand spends a lot of time passing over my head to signal this ignorance.
I only learn about popular memes through popular adaptations of the original meme. It’s as if I were reading only academic journals, buffered from the source. There’s some critical threshold to how viral something has to be before I ever hear about it, and by the time it reaches it, it’s phasing out like last season’s clothes.
If I didn’t feel like “keeping up” with things was an active hobby, I might be better at it. My attention is mostly on myself, my feelings, and my interests. My attention sometimes goes to making letters or gifts for people I love. I can’t find the time to be up-to-date.
I think my hobbies of studying, writing, making, sauntering, and inquiry will outlast any culture trend. I’d rather focus on something I can pick up 40 years from now and still understand and appreciate. I really think that I don’t have to follow what’s timeless. The only thing I want to follow is the riverbank.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society sent me a letter with a nickel adhered to it. The letter goes on to say that they included it to make a point about how nickels add up. I give them kudos for novelty, but not for practicality. Considering how many letters the society sends out, how many nickels are NOT adding up to blood cancer research?
When I was too, let’s say, seasick to remember one Saturday night, my roommates made plans to have people over at our house for a dinner party. I spent the following Sunday watching documentaries in bed, because that’s what I do when I’m, er, seasick. I came out of my room, and one of my roommates told me the potluck had been cancelled because everyone bailed. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about, but I was glad that no one was coming over because I was still in yesterday’s clothes.
One week passed, and the dinner party plans solidified with commitments. That’s something I’m still not used to: my friends will send calendar invitations in Outlook and request a reply. I didn’t think I had to reply, because the event was going to be in my own house. The worst that would happen is I would “crash” the dinner party by walking into the dining room. I still had no say in whether this party would happen, only that I would be there or not.
I’m glad I decided to make a salad. I took a spinach and arugula mix, and curled my fingers into it while dumping in walnuts and dried cranberries. I topped it off with goat cheese crumbles. Meanwhile, I tinged a stirring forked against the ceramic mixing bowl so’s to make oil and vinegar agree with each other. (They don’t. They separate as quickly as boys and girls in a middle school dance.) I kept mixing the dressing even while guests showed up. Fortunately, they were distracted by my roommates’ puppy so that I didn’t need to talk to them. Our guests brought cheese sticks rolled by Pilsbury Crescents, spaghetti noodles and sauce, banana bread, and Swedish meatballs; and our hosts made mac & cheese. I offered the only green thing on the table.
The two hungriest males (besides myself) sat at the dinner looking at food like it would walk onto their plates for them, and called out to others to join them so they could eat. Shortly after we were all seated and chatting, one of our friends and his girlfriend started slipping in political comments to the discussion. “Like how Obama got reelected,” while on the topic of things that shouldn’t have happened. Half the people laughed. The other half looked around. “But really, either black people voted for him because he’s black, or white people voted for him because they were afraid people would call them racist.” There were so many things I wanted to say to rebuke these comments, but I think that would have led to the dinner table eventually flipping. I instead said, “Let’s not talk politics. What are you guys doing for the winter holiday?” “I thought you liked politics,” our friend said, confused. “I do,” I replied, “but not at the dinner table.” I’m all for free speech, but really, it was clear half the people were uncomfortable and three people out of nine were going to consume the conversation for the rest of the night if I didn’t say something.
I ate more than my share of food. I ate all of the (thankfully prepared as a backup) vegetarian Swedish meatballs, many of the Crescents, three bowls of salad, three scoops of mac & cheese, one heap of spaghetti, a few slices of bread, and a quarter of a carrot cake. I was very happy when people left so I could lie down and fall asleep to ignore the pain in my inflated belly. It felt like a balloon filled with chili, lobbed around as a volleyball.
There’s still two thirds of the carrot cake left. I have no idea how I’m going to eat it.