What the Internet Says I'm Doing Wrong
I love life hacks. Who doesn't? If there's a technique out there that can help me get the most lotion out of my lotion bottle or prevent my boiled eggs from being impossible to peel or keep my running shoes from growing so disgusting they can walk themselves out of my apartment, I'll take it. So for years I've loved browsing or just happening to come across life hacks/simple tips on Reddit, Pinterest, or elsewhere in the internet universe.
But there are some things that the internet swears up and down by, promises will make my life better or my space happier or my work/life balance more balanced, that I just have to thumb my nose to. But the crazy thing is that I'm not even talking about the ones that are so bizarre that I wonder how people even thought of them, or if they're even worth the effort. (Seriously, some life hacks I've seen involve spending three times longer on a task or chore in order to save $0.002. No, sorry—it ain't worth it.) No, the ones I repeatedly and purposefully ignore all make good sense, but I just refuse to get on board. According to the internet, I do all of these general life things wrong...
I don't maximize freebie days/birthday sales. I hear it was free donut day last week! I did not have a donut. I like donuts, and would have happily eaten one. But now I'm craving a donut and will probably have to go buy one before the week is up. Never in the history of Julys have I gotten my free Slurpee on 7/11. All those businesses and companies that ask for your birth date in order to send you birthday-specific promos? Guess who literally never takes advantage of them. In theory, it's because I don't want to consume just for the sake of free or discounted consumption. In reality, I'm probably keeping myself from maximizing sales on things I will eventually need to purchase anyway. But in my mind, it's my way of keeping the faucet turned off.
I don't meal plan. I know, I know—it's going to save me a million dollars a year on groceries and make my evenings so much less stressful. But I have a strange and temperamental palate—not to mention the tendency to rapidly vacillate between wanting to eat the same exact thing five times a day for two weeks (avo toast with an over-easy egg, for example) and having absolutely no taste or craving for foods I typically enjoy. To plan four or five meals based on one Sunday taste bud will almost always result in wasted food, and I hate wasted food. Because I'm also a toddler and can't force myself to eat something I'm not in the mood for—literally, I'll feel sick to my stomach. But then I'll either eat absolute junk if I have it in the house instead of meals, or just not eat until I'm so hungry that I'm beating down the door to Chipotle 90 seconds before closing.
I use dark colors and minimal mirrors in my small apartment. The horror, right? If you consult Pinterest and Apartment Therapy (which I absolutely love), you'll see studio apartments almost religiously adorned in light, bright colors and decorated with mirrors and pale prints. Yet here I sit with dark wood furniture, a brown couch, and only one mirror above my bathroom sink and one skinny one tucked beside my front door. Thing is, I don't NEED to "make my space feel bigger." That's always the reasoning I see behind these decor/style tips: Make your small space feel huge with windows and light colors and even (ugh, sorry, NOT my thing) clear acrylic furniture! I actually quite like a small space. My 500-square-foot apartment feels cozy and contained, but I get enough natural light and have it laid out in such a way that it doesn't feel claustrophobic. But I picked a small space because I like a small space. Not everyone needs a cavernous dwelling, ya know?
I don't try to make my apartment look bigger or section off my bedroom. On a related note, there are no carefully-placed Expedit bookshelves or ceiling-hung "sheer but functional" curtains separating my bed space from the rest of my apartment. To do that would be to cut off a significant portion of my living space and actually make it feel claustrophobic. Know what I do to make my apartment look less like a giant messy bedroom? Make my bed—novel concept?—and not point my couch toward the pillows. Yet still, every time I read an article about "maximizing studio aparment layouts" or "feeling at home in a tiny space," the number one suggestion is to cut off the floorplan by pretending walls exist where they don't.
I take my phone to bed. You would think that as a life-long insomniac I would have tried everything and enslave myself to any bit of internet advice about how to get a better night's sleep. Well, the latter is true—I've tried everything. And I know the light from my phone is bad for my eyes and brain, and I know that waking up with my phone and all its notifications right next to me is a terrible idea... etcetera. I know this all, and I truly believe it. But I also know that if I try to fall asleep without some sound in my ears OR without tiring my eyes a bit by reading an article or Reddit thread before bed, I'll lie awake having imaginary conversations in my head or replaying dramatic moments from the last 27 years or agonizing over a decision I need to make, rather than distract my brain for long enough to actually let it slip into unconsciousness. (That's what happens when you sleep right? I think...)
Oh, and I also don't eat Nutella or put sriracha on any food ever, and apparently the internet doesn't believe that anyone could be such a monster. But I am, friends. I am.
Okay, your turn: What do you "do wrong" by the internet's standards of living? Don't leave me out to dry on this one.