You can’t help it! It’s out there. You’ve got your hand on the mouse or your finger on the phone and it sits there with an otherworldly glow. Oh no, it’s a link! Suddenly a combination of morbid curiosity and compassion for people you don’t even know intermingle and before you know it you’ve arrived. You’ve arrived in the promised land of… advertisement filled pages and underwhelming writing. You beat back all of the pop-ups to continue reading until finally there’s that one sentence that arouses your nostalgia or fiery rage enough to click the share button. And that’s the circle of life on the internet. Lies and rumors on the internet prosper, and we’re all victims of it.
Politics. Religion. Disney.
You should completely ignore this blog post, and others like it.
1. It’s a list.
We, as in people who write stuff on the internet, discovered a while ago that people’s attention spans are short. Therefore, if we make it a list, we’re adding a method in which mileage may vary from reader to reader. One reader may read it word for word. The other reader may just skim over the bold-faced list items, comment “PREACH!” and then share. It takes away the necessity of, well, reading comprehension.
2. It’s got a surprising title.
Got your attention, didn’t it? Well, obviously it did if you’re reading it. And that’s the whole point. Why should I completely ignore this blog post? Is there something this person doesn’t want me to see? Well, as a matter of fact yes it’s true. I don’t want you to see another post like this in your life.
3. The picture is obviously deceptive.
And what’s with that ominous black picture anyway? What could this post be hiding? A good picture gives you just enough to peak their curiosity, and that’s part of the high you get by link clicking.
4. It’s got a click-bait description.
If someone ever promises you a number in a list will blow your mind, ignore them. If it actually blew you mind, you’d be dead, so you really don’t want to risk it.
5. You’ve got better things to do than read stuff shared around the internet.
Unlike other posts of this nature, though, I’m not going to let you down. I’ve got something to say, and this time it really is the secret of life. This time and this time only, you got lucky because this post actually means something.
I asked my friend the other day how much time he spends on his smartphone. After doing some math in his head, he said he spends around four hours a day scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, and Snapchat. That’s SIX social media platforms, and it’s incredible because most people have accounts on almost each and every one of them. I’ll bet if you have a smartphone, your number is pretty close to four hours a day as well.
Allow me to do the math for you. Imagine having 20 extra hours a week to do whatever you want. You already do, and you spend it working out your fingers. Four hours a day for one year is a total of 1,460 hours. That is a TON of time. For 2 years, that’s 2,920 hours. For 10 years, that’s an incredible 14,600 hours of time using your smartphone. In that time, you could be a concert pianist. You could be a master chef. You could probably even be major league pitcher.
I dare you. I dare you to put your phone away and live life.
Go on a day trip and don’t even take your phone with you.
Read an entire novel from cover to cover in a day.
Read TWO entire novels from cover to cover in a day.
Clean someone’s house for them for free.
Write a lengthy letter to somebody you love and don’t get to see often.
Pay for the person behind you in line at Starbucks.
Go to a small town and act like you live there for a day.
Learn to fish.
Take a stopwatch and see how fast you can beat Sonic the Hedgehog.
Make a video with your friends.
Go to a state you’ve never been to before.
Go on a train ride.
Learn to play canasta with your grandmother.
Watch all The Lord of the Rings movies back to back to back.
Marathon a season of Doctor Who with your best friend in a day.
Apply for that dream job in Seattle just for the heck of it.
Drink hot chocolate on the first day of summer and iced coffee on the first day of winter.
Go build a fort like you did when you were a kid.
Do all these things, and enjoy them…
But whatever you do, please next time just completely ignore this blog post.