Are you ever scrolling through various scroll-enabling machines and come across an article that says you’re doing something wrong? You read it, because you don’t want to do anything wrong in life ever. If you’re doing something wrong, that’s not good and you need to rectify it, however what you read is completely useless and you’ll probably go back to the way you did the thing before. You scroll some more and shocker! There’s something else you’re completely cocking up. You utter sausage, why are you doing so many things wrong?! You must find out why you’re the most useless person in the world, so you read that too. Nope, you’re fine on that front as well. And so on. This has been the same story every day for years and there’s now very little that you haven’t been told you’re incessantly fucking up.
Everyone likes to know that how they swallow grapes or take off their socks (the everyday stuff) is normal, and by normal I mean the same as everyone else. Last month, Buzzfeed very kindly made a poll survey to check how wrong we’re doing everyday things compared to everyone else (satirical or serious? Not sure). And in 2014, The Huffington Post compiled a lovely list of all the things we’ve failed to do correctly all these years.
Life hack articles can be helpful, but what’s not helpful? Being told that basic, trivially remedial tasks aren’t being carried out properly, aka you’re dim as sin. Theses articles then become small chinks in our armour, gently chipping away at our self conscious psyche until we’re a wet puddle of emotion on the floor not knowing how to get up in case we do it wrong, or breathe in case we disappoint the ‘Magazine Gods’.
Anxiety in Generation Y – the key demographic these articles target – as we all know, is on the rise. In this article by the Telegraph last year, the writer Rachel Dove, a self-confessed millennial, wrote that hers is often brought on by ‘fear of failure’ and ‘not being good enough’. Bingo.
These failure enlightenments have played on a trend, as opposed to how it will affect the human at the other end of the increasing clicks and page views. “Who cares if they’re eliciting panic in the recipient, we get a bonus if this reaches 10k reads,” they probably say. To them, it’s a job. There’s also an underlying irony that the articles are probably written by a budding millennial who is hopelessly lost themselves.
Granted, the level of shaming articles has diminished considerably, but it’s still rife, and they are just one more reminder that we (millennials) are having enough trouble with ‘adulting’ and finding independence as it is. It’s coming at us from all angles, WE GET IT, WE’RE SHIT. We’re trying, we swear, but nothing about these articles is helping.
While on occasion these pellets of information can bring revolutions, often they bring embarrassment for having done the thing wrong this whole time, and they’re hardly epiphanies, so it’s a lose lose on the cold sweat scale.
If you’re doing anything wrong, it’s listening and learning from these exasperating articles telling you something totally subjective that can be done a million different ways. There is literally no right or wrong, just mere marketing ploys. Each one plants the seed of doubt in your mind that you’re not keeping afloat of this increasingly difficult thing we call life – don’t let it get to you, that’s exactly what they want.
Instead, be a lion, do it in your own way, do it with gusto. Don’t follow the crowd, you do do and any other cliché you can think of in this realm. You’re doing it right, you’re doing it great. Hell, you may as well do it wrong, just do it and be proud of that, because if learning from our mistakes wasn’t reason enough, then proving you’re still breathing and surviving despite completely ballsing it up is enough.
And anyway, after the embarrassments, disappointments and shocking moments of 2016, nothing is wrong any more it seems.
So no, you’re not doing absolutely everything wrong. And bugger it, even if we are, WE’RE WRONG AND WE LIKE IT, BABY.