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.

Comments

  1. i don't eat nutella either! the only thing i use sriracha for is a black bean burger recipe i make often. i didn't get a free donut either, i didn't want to deal with people haha but really i'm happy to buy a donut if and when i want one. i don't meal plan, though i want to because of the whole saving me millions of dollars. but seriously, i know it will because we waste so much at the grocery with 'just a couple of things' trips every couple of days.
    the internet told me to get white towels and it was the worst decision i have ever made. 'you can bleach everything out' they said. they lied.

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  2. Pretty much nailed every single thing I do wrong too, girlfriend. I do, however, enjoy the Nutella on crepes (not often though) and Sriracha! The only super light things I have going on in the apartment are when the sun shines through and I open doors & windows, haha.

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  3. All the hot sauce/sriracha! I even have a small bottle at work lol. I think you do well with your open space floorplan because you don't have a bunch of crap everywhere- you maximize your space by compartmentalizing well. I like small spaces too; oftentimes, I feel like my apartment is too big for one person! I actually have a list of dinner options that I keep as a note in my phone with ingredients I normally have on hand in case of a meal plan disaster/ just don't wanna eat what I had planned. It has served me well. In general though, I think meal-planning better serves non-single-person households. I will take ALL the free/discounted birthday foods. I've planned birthday month eating around them. No shame in my game.

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  4. haha I live to birthday freebies! and all freebie days. But I definitely just walk in and get my free item and leave. I never spend anything.
    I'm not great at meal planning but I am trying to be better, because I do think it helps. Not necessarily for my vegetarian diet, I'm pretty lax, but for John it helps because I have to figure out what meat is on sale.

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  5. i dont do starbucks coffee flavoured drinks, i don't have a perfectly tidy house, i don't do DIY craft/project with my kid either. i don't pack an interesting lunch for my kid (who the fuck has time to pack a lunch made to look like a freaking princess or cartoon character?) so according to the internet, i'm a horrible mother LOL

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  6. I love nutella on strawberries.

    No sriracha but I do add it to some recipes. No super sugary coffee drinks, no DIY anything, no minimalism, no Marie Kondo.

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  7. Hahahaha I love this. Ok, so I love love love Nutella...and I have had Sirarcha on foods but I don't really get what the hype is about? It isn't something I have to have one hand. My decor style is whatever the heck I like. It doesn't have a theme or a certain look it is a hodge podge and I am sure that is wrong. I don't carry around a DSL camera. I miss all the free donut days but I do have a few birthday freebies I try to scoop up. Meal planning was something I didn't know existed until a few years ago but now my life is forever changed. But It is what works for my lifestyle and where we live. The grocery store isn't convenient so I only go once a week and therefore it forces me to plan things out.

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  8. I don't think I probably do anything right, technically. I am not sure that my life is better off for it, either.

    I don't use Sriracha because it's simply not hot enough to improve my food. I'm not bragging - I have a spicy food problem, in fact. It's not edible until it's so spicy that my hair is sticking to my head with sweat.

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  9. HUGE nutella fan over here, but totally with you on the acrylic furniture. Not quite sure how that became a REAL trend [insert head scratching emoji]. <-- did I do that right?

    Not really into poms or rompers so I'm clearly the least fashionable person ever. We also didn't do anything to our lil apartment to make it look bigger, we just bought more storage.

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  10. sometimes I question are friendship. Really, only when you say things like, "I also don't eat Nutella". What the what?! Like, at all???

    The idea of cutting up a studio floor plan is dumb... unless it's a VERY large studio. Your apt is adorable. And I didn't feel like I was sitting in a bedroom.

    As for the birthday freebies... ehh. I always get them but almost never take advantage of them. It's such a waste.

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    1. Our**** Sweet Jesus I meant OUR!! *hangs head in shame*

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  11. I just had to buy the hugest bottle of sriracha to make a recipe, and I am so mad I have this giant bottle that I know I won't finish now. At least the recipe was delicious. I don't even like spicy food. I love the idea of meal planning, but I feel exactly the same way. I just can't. Like, I almost didn't eat my one-day-old leftovers tonight because suddenly I wanted pizza. And tomorrow, I feel bad because I don't think I'll eat the same thing three days in a row. But I eat nearly the same things for breakfast and lunch sometimes and don't mind.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, and when I order from Sephora, I don't even request the free samples. Because they sit in my medicine cabinet unused forever. So I just stopped.

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