Last Word: What The Hack?

Hardly a day goes by when there isn’t some inane story on the Internet offering up hacks on important stuff like how to use ketchup, or “life-changing” ways to style curly hair. There are even hacks for streamlining your time in the bathroom.

I don’t get it. Can knowing how to style curly hair really change lives? Do we need to figure out how to make peeing more time-effective? And just how many ways are there to use ketchup anyway?

According to the spate of stories on the Internet, even our genders are in need of hacks. One article laments that, gosh, “Being a girl can be challenging from time to time,” and because of that, hacks are a “must” for survival. It goes on to provide suggestions on how to break in new flats with a hair dryer, de-fuzz a sweater using a pumice stone and make your own bulletin board from used wine corks.

OK, considering that during any given week I could fill a dumpster with used wine corks, the last one might prove useful. Otherwise, speaking as a girl, I’m pretty sure that among the more difficult challenges in my life, few have required insider knowledge on how to remove little balls from my sweater.

Lazy girls, apparently, need a lot of hacks. There are lazy girl makeup hacks, beauty hacks, fitness hacks and cleaning hacks. There are also a lot of lazy girl hairstyle hacks including the best ways to deal with dirty hair. One recommends that lazy girls simply “Use dry shampoo before bed; it works better and will suck up all the excess oil.”

Certainly, that is a good tip in lieu of the more difficult challenge of maintaining basic hygiene through bathing of some kind.

Along with lazy girls, there are hacks for “On-the-Go Modern Gals,” because if you aren’t a lazy girl, you’re obviously super busy and require your very own set of shortcuts. Moms also need hacks because as one article puts it, “Being a mom means lots of things, including having savvy knowledge about certain things that your friends who aren’t moms probably don’t have.”

Wait, what?

There are also “Mom Hacks for Real Moms.” I like that one, because why should fake moms be privy to any of the secret real-mom tricks?

Women and “gals” aren’t the only ones who need hacks. They have them for guys, too.

One story doles out “Essential Manly Life Hacks,” which offers helpful suggestions on everything from lasting longer in bed (think about baseball), to drinking beer in the shower (it will supposedly change your life), or how to make your own beef jerky (don’t ask), and even on how to avoid backsplash in the urinal.

While I’m not a guy, I’d like to think that peeing in a urinal is something that hardly requires a set of guidelines, and if it does, then you’ve got bigger problems than avoiding backsplash.

Even pet owners have their own hacks like ‘Puuuurrrfect Hacks Every Cat Owner Should Know,” and “Crazy Genius Life Hacks for Dog Owners.”

There are also hacks for sleepless cat owners, new dog owners; hacks on how owners can save their puppies’ lives, how pet owners can save time, and also for pet owners who are simply too busy to take care of their dog or cat.

I can’t help but wonder that if you’re looking up hacks on how to carve out time to care for your pet, then perhaps you should reconsider owning one.

But the hacks don’t stop there. Every day there are hacks for travel, cooking, working, decorating, driving and just about everything else we do on a regular basis.

I’m not sure why we need so many of them and frankly, I’m tired of reading snappy suggestions and so-called hacks like the one I saw recently on how to order teas at Starbucks “that are more refreshing than Frapps!”

It bothers me so much that I complained about it to my teenage daughter, griping about how everyone seems obsessed with finding shortcuts for everything under the sun.

“You’re weird,” she said, and then proceeded to shut me down in one sentence. “If you’re so against shortcuts, then maybe you should stop using the dryer.”

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