Public Service Announcement: If you find yourself in the middle of a psychology experiment during which a “teacher” instructs me to shock you with increasing voltage every time you answer a question incorrectly, hold on tight ’cause chances are it’s about to get hot in here.
You see, I have an almost blind respect for anyone of authority. Have a white coat? Of course I’ll take the full course of antibiotics, Sir. Lots of framed diplomas on your wall? You’re right; I have latent resentment toward my parents who kindly gave me your number and are watching my kids so I could meet with you.
You wrote a book!? They don’t let just anyone be in books!* I will absolutely institute your “Perfect Kids in 9 Seconds” plan immediately! (*I’m in a few books. Turns out they do let anyone be in books.)
Okay, I’m not that bad. You could say that getting older has brought with it a newfound sense of confidence. I’m more apt to trust my gut, conduct my own research to solve a problem, and speak up when I disagree with the advice of an “expert.”
The internet doesn’t seem to care about my newly acquired gift of discernment. No, the internet seems hell-bent on telling me what to do, and I’ve had enough! Here are nine things I wish the internet would just shut up about:
1. Stop Eating These [Insert Any Five Foods That Are Remotely Satisfying] Unless I Want to Spend My Life Fat and Miserable
Because having them show up in my newsfeed in all their carby glory every 37 minutes is really helping me break the habit.
2. Wrap It!
I’m talking about food here. I’ve seen the before and after pictures of those who’ve taken the initiative. I know it works. But until someone creates something that willingly wraps itself around my face and, most importantly, covers my mouth and prevents me from putting anything in it, ain’t nothing going to help these thighs.
3. Drink Water Packed With Fruit
Do you know how much time it takes to cut three cups of fruit? Not to mention how expensive that much fruit would be. And who the hell wants to carry around an 11-pound mason jar of mushy fruit they can’t eat?
4. Get More Sleep
Well, no shit, Sherlock. Who doesn’t need more sleep? My kids are not little anymore, so I can no longer execute the dinner-bath-bed routine with precision. They have practice and rehearsals and homework. We want to watch The Voice together so we can watch those talented young singers rise to stardom. None of those things can be accomplished by 7:30. So if I went to bed earlier, I would have the same schedule as my 9- and 12-year-olds. Translation: I would literally be the lamest person on the planet.
5. Drink Wine
I don’t like wine—never have, never will—so stop telling me that wine will cure cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease, replace exercise, solve the problems in the Middle East, and end global warming. Now if you have something positive to say about whiskey, I’m all ears.
6. Cease and Desist All K-Cup Usage
Listen, I do my part. I reduce, reuse, recycle. My house is in a virtual state of darkness to conserve energy. My freaking grass is as dry as the Sahara because we are following all the California-enforced drought measures. I drink one cup of coffee a day, people. One cup! Can’t I have the convenience of 30 brainless seconds while my coffee virtually makes itself? Is nothing sacred? (Side note: No matter how strong my decision-making powers have become, I have no hope against the power of guilt. I switched to a reusable K-Cup. Now, if someone tells me the plastic is causing cancer, it’s gonna get ugly up in here!)
7. Throw Out Every Item in My Pantry or Fridge Because My Food Is Killing Me
I’ve survived 41 years on this planet, so it’s safe to say I’m relatively intelligent. I know how to read a label. I understand that my food should not make five stops from its original location to my table. I am smart enough to recognize the politics and economics involved in the food industry. In doing these things, I know not everything is a government conspiracy to make me sick and power the pharmaceutical industry. Nor will it make me grow a third nipple.
8. Buy Pretty Jewelry
I can get four pairs of hoop earrings for $5 at Target. Four pairs, I tell you! Sure, it comes with the bonus of turning my earlobes black, but I try to look at that as a fashion statement, and everyone knows black is slimming. Have you seen how thin my lobes look lately? And do you know how fabulous those $5 earrings look with my $20 workout pants from Costco?
And the biggest thing I wish the internet would stop telling me to do…
10. Worry About My Kid’s Self-Esteem
Have you spent any time with a 12-year-old boy? Have you? If so, then you know that 12-year-old boys think they are brilliant, good at everything, and generally winning at life. They know all the answers, even to the questions they asked you. They’re always right, despite evidence to the contrary. Regardless of the plan you have, they have a better one, which conveniently results in them getting bigger, better or more than you originally projected. No one is as “boss” as they are.
Of course, 12-year-old boys are also sweet, kind and giving. Their psyches are as fragile as any other child, and we should always strive to protect them as well as their hearts. But based on the fact that I have to ask my son nine times to put away his shoes before he actually realizes I’m speaking, I’m going to worry a little less about a stern voice, some consequences, or even a little yelling, crushing his precious self-esteem. Chances are he didn’t even hear me.
See, internet, I really am my own expert. Your advice means nothing to me.