Wherever we go, there are social norms and expectations being jammed down our throats.
The people around us, all exposed to similar media messages and massive, powerful institutions, internalize these norms and police each other without even realizing it.
These constructs are so plentiful and subtle that they can be hard to even notice.
But once in awhile we take a step back. We zoom out. Then we see just how arbitrary and one-dimensional so many of those norms are.
Those epiphanies can be disorienting, but so empowering, too. A recent thread on Reddit asked people to share their biggest gripes about all the things forced on us.
Redditor Snoo79382 asked:
"What should society stop forcing on us?"
The internet, as it has many facets of modern life, has accelerated the rate at which things are jammed down our throats. Not a day goes by that we're not on the hook for one thing or another.
"Subscription based services. Everybody out here wants your money now on a monthly schedule."
"The need to create an account for EVERY website or software. Wtf, I just want to install my graphics drivers! There's no reason for you to know who I am, you already have many thousands of my monies."
Others discussed work and work culture. It's such a large portion of our lives, and, according to these folks, the whole thing can be handled better.
Resist the Urge to Monetize
"The idea of hobbies becoming 'side hustles.' Why can't a hobby just be a hobby" -- Electrical-Mammoth44
"Like my father always said: Don't turn your hobby into your work, because you'll have to find a new hobby." -- JustAGuy401
"Having to constantly be busy and only have 2 days to recover from it." -- Octo-Fishy
"I find the whole 5 days a week on, 2 off thing pretty infuriating. I work a 9-5 and would easily be done everything in way less time but I am required to drag it out for no reason." -- condor1111800
Passing the Buck
"Donating your vacation time to coworkers because the company you work for is shi**y. There was a natural disaster and one of the stores in the chain I worked for got flooded."
"Instead of just giving people time off because they literally couldn't work they asked everyone to give up the few paid days off we got a year. Most of us got less than a week off a year."
And others talked about the social expectations pushed on us by our friends, family members, acquaintances, and everything in between.
Aren't There Plenty Already?
"Well no one is forcing anyone, but everyone assumes you want from have kids. And if you don't everyone has a lot of questions and they start judging and trying to change your mind."
Things That Are Normal Where You Live But Crazy Anywhere Else | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
Take Your Time
"The idea that people should have their sh*t together and their life planned out at the age of 20. I'm 19 and still wanna play my pokemon games and the future scares me :')"
"The belief that you HAVE to date, have sex, and get married. Some of us don't want to do any of that and there's nothing wrong with it. I'm sick of the social pressure to date."
Racing Against Fantasy
"There should be laws about how heavily photoshopped pictures are meant to be to sell anything beauty related."
"Being constantly surrounded by images of perfection is seriously damaging to people's mental health, and the implication that a product will make you look Like This is simply false advertising when the model doesn't actually look Like This and has been heavily airbrushed at the very least."
And so, taking a cue from these Redditors, it's a good time to remember that we don't have to cave to any of this stuff if we don't want to.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Oh the 90's. What a decade.
Who knew we were in the time of revolution?!
So much happened, yet so much stayed the same.
And not decades later, so much has changed.
Who doesn't love to look back upon a decade and discuss the things that were a common part of life and are now basically obsolete?
You never know in real time.
Redditor Apart-Scalewanted to reminisce about the glory days.
"What was normal in the 1990s but rare or non existent now?"
For me... it's Madonna having a #1 song. It can still happen, but highly unlikely.
MusicNew Music Football GIF by Black PrezGiphy
"A disc man plugged into a cassette tape with a wire to play music in your car."
"Hotlines for the weather report, current time, and movie show times."
"The time and temperature phone number for my small hometown still exists to this day. Same Pre recorded voice and everything. It still advertises caller-id as an add on feature for land lines. Know who’s calling you. It’s easy and convenient with caller id. The time is x. Temperature y."
"Talking to your friends mom to see if they were home."
"I've always thought that having to go through the parents to talk to your friends made things more controlled and respectful. Now kids can just blast each other with every thought that pops in their heads 24/7, that must make things more toxic."
"When picking someone up from the airport, you could wait for them at their gate."
"When I have flights going through cities with people I know I will intentionally schedule a couple hour layover so I can go hand lunch with them and then just go through security again and board the next flight."
I'm OutBye Bye Goodbye GIF by Mickey MouseGiphy
"I still do this to this day. I'll go on vacation for a week and just turn the phone off, or be far enough out in the boonies that there is no cell signal whatsoever."
I wish I could put my phone down. Who knew we'd never be without them?
Let's FandangoMovie Theater Popcorn GIF by filmeditorGiphy
"Calling the movie theater or looking in the paper for movie times."
"Keeping a binder full of CDs in your car."
"I once left the door on my car unlocked and came back to find my car stereo gone but not my full 100 disc binder. The stereo had completely died 2 weeks prior and I just hadn't gotten around to swapping it out yet. I just laughed."
"My car CDs were stolen in 1998. I’m still pissed."
"Pressing play and record at the same time."
"I don't know why but this one made me feel the saddest. I guess it just snapped me back to a moment when I was bored and had no where I had to be, no where I planned to go. My life's todo list completely empty. Just me and the weird 90's dust that seemed to float around in front of sunny windows."
"Putting tape over the security tab/square so you could record over any tape you had in your collection."
"I had to check for the phone booth that I used the most as a teenager (not in NYC, in the beach town where I spent my summers) and it was still there in the most recent Street View! I'll have to see if it's there now when I go by tomorrow. This was where I checked in with my parents and friends circa 1990 to see what was going on. The arcade was just down the street."
And the White?yellow pages GIFGiphy
"I got a phone book in my mailbox the other day. First one in years. It was about the size of a Goosebumps book."
Well those were the days. Weren't they?
Texas is HUGE!
Literally, it's massive. That might be why the tagline is about everything being big. Oh the metaphors of life.
Next to size is heat. Lord is it hot there.
Those are just a few of the regular Texas deets that often come to mind.
What else do others think of?
Redditor Common-Transition973 wanted to compare notes on everyone's thoughts about the Lonestar state.
"Non Texans , what are your thoughts when you hear 'Texas?'"
I've been to Texas once. Austin. It was cute.
"Literally just the shape of the state itself as seen from a map or something."
All Love Baby
"I’ve been through Texas a few times and the thing that stood out to me was how much people in Texas love talking about how much they love Texas. I had a beer at the Dallas airport when I was waiting for a friends plane and it was a Budweiser bottle but instead of Budweiser the label said Texas on it."
"Diners would serve Texas shaped pancakes. Every gas station had a section for Texas swag- everything from tee shirts to shot glasses to hats to magnets and other Knick knacks."Giphy
"I’ve always found New Yorkers to be obnoxious with how much they talk about how much better they are than everyone else, but Texas is actually on another level. So, I guess when I think of Texas, I think of a bunch of people yelling 'I f**kin' love Texas'."
"Barbecue, don’t get me wrong we’ve got it here in the UK but it’s nothing like what I’ve seen from across the pond. Burnt ends, beef ribs, smoked brisket. I’ve only ever seen it on YouTube and I envy those of you who have tasted it."
"Honestly when I went to Texas and tried the bbq, at both that big well known place and a 'mom and pop' place that my airbnb hosts said was the best in the city. It was... Good. Like it was tasty and all, but just they way people talk about it like its some kind of religious experience or that it's just so different and unlike bbq in other countries, but it wasn't. Its still just meat + dry rub + sauce and I've had comparable bbq in London."
"My Texas is essentially one of those m&m characters. I picture him with those big oval eyes and white limbs. The color of this Texas-shaped m&m is 'American flag.' He’s got a cowboy hat, a piece of wheat sticking out of his mouth, and a perfectly groomed mustache. He’s just walking around in his cowboy boots with his Ak-47 in tow. He vehemently hates the skittles."
"In my native Norwegian the term 'complete Texas' means chaos or out of control."
Algorithmix9Panic Omg GIFGiphy
Texas means so much in so many ways.
"Cadillacs with giant horns on the front driven by old men in white suits with big white cowboy hats and superbly trimmed mustaches."
Spare-Cap-3152season 6 welcome to austin GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
"In my company (in a country on the opposite side of the planet from Texas), 'gone Texas' is a term used to describe a software program that has frozen up to the point where even Task Manager can't abort it. Otherwise we don't think about it very much, except perhaps with mild horror."
"Heavyset white people with guns and large cowboy hats yelling 'DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS!'"
"My favorite part of 'Don’t mess with Texas’ is that comes across as this slogan about how tough and bada** Texans are, but in reality it was an effective anti-littering campaign from the department of transportation."
"Man, as a Muslim in a secular country, is always a ride seeing posts about republicans go on about something something shariah law, something something freedom, something Obama... And then two posts later, there's a r/nottheonion post about Texas basically being white Taliban."
"I think of Gilead but with cowboy hats."
Trips89Handmaids Tale No GIF by VideolandGiphy
Well there is still a lot of good in Texas. You just have to dig deep.
Insects play a vital role in Earth's ecosystem.
Without insects, some plants would die and some animals would starve creating a domino effect of global famine.
That being said, June Bugs can crawl back into the pits of Hell from whence they came.
I know I'm not alone in that opinion.
Redditor aconnor105 asked:
"What insect can go straight to Hell?"
"Horseflies. One of those f'kers chased my car for an hour and a half."
"Ah yes, the sadistic combination of a mosquito's diet and gluttony and a fly's energy and speed."
"Their mouthparts are literally two knives with the blades facing outwards, when a horsefly (or deer fly, or moose fly) bites you, they’re literally ripping a hole in your skin and lapping up the blood."
"They are such a**holes. A thrown shoe when they land is surprisingly effective at taking them out."
"Deploy La Chancla!"
"Bed bugs. If you're anything like me just the mention of them makes your skin crawl."
"The bites are bad but the paranoia is worse. Once you get them you will never trust a bed ever again."
"Every unexplained itch will make you think 'F'k, are they back?'."
Japanese Murder Hornets
"Those killer hornet things from Japan."
"Mosquitoes. Every single one."
"Only few select, totally expendable species of mosquitoes feed on humans. We need to just completely exterminate those f**kers!"
"Kill em all, let their mosquito god sort em out."
Vindicated! I'm not the only one who hates these things.
"June Bugs. I hate them so much. They fly right at you and are so loud! And I get embarrassed for screaming my a** off."
- Skeebou and Cupacakezzz
"1000% this. They make sitting outside in the summer in Texas after 8:00pm (when it’s actually cool enough to sit outside) completely unbearable."
"Cockroaches. I want to invent a laser to kill just these f'kers only. They all need to burn to ash."
"In South China we had drain cockroaches that would panic when they got caught in flash torrential rain. They make a beeline for the nearest high ground, which includes you."
"I didn't really believe it at first."
"'Hah, that cockroach looks like he's sprinting towards me. Look, he even changed direction with me. Whoa, hold on a minute mate'."
"He got to my upper chest before I managed to throw him off."
"About 2,000 of them panicked after a minor earthquake, flooding out of the drains and into the nearby shops. Yelps and colourful language followed as shop staff pelted them into the air and onto bikes/cars/pedestrians with brooms."
"Earwigs. Creepy a** bugs with those big a** pincers on their butt."
"And they always come out at night, get in water glasses, mailboxes...nasty things."
\u201cThe hidden, origami-like wings of the common earwig unfold to ten times their folded size, transforming the mostly ground-dwelling insect into a super-efficient flyer [read more: https://t.co/9vtGk5Hr52] [how they served as models: https://t.co/58nfe8WhYQ]\u201d— Massimo (@Massimo) 1658138400
"Fleas. Literally any parasitic insect."
"This is the answer, literally just any parasite. Some actually DO have a reason to exist, but others seem like they were created for the PURPOSE of spreading diseases and pain."
"The Emerald Ash Borer. Has killed three massive trees on my property, and is working its way to killing every ash tree in my part of the country."
- CoffeeAndBrassleafless tree on green grass field under white skyPhoto by Arun Clarke on Unsplash
"Yellow jackets. All that buzzin and no honey..."
There are insects we mostly love—like honeybees, ladybugs or butterflies...Giphy
...but there seem to be a lot more we mostly hate.
Did your insect nemesis make the list?
For the life of me, I can't understand how anyone could still watch The Walking Dead. I just checked and the damn thing has had 11 seasons. 11 seasons!
Can you imagine?
People enjoy watching characters follow a set of train tracks for an entire season I guess. (For context, I made it to the beginning of the seventh season before I threw in the towel, and it was really testing my patience well before then.)
But there's so much more out there that's equally overrated. Television is the least of our problems.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor PieinHorse asked the online community,
"What is very overrated?"
"The perceived security..."
"The perceived security of most jobs."
Replace jobs with locks or doors or windows and it's still true.
"Influencers. I'm not sure what's more ridiculous, the fact someone believes they are an "influencer" or those who actually follow them and are influenced by said influencer."
I scarcely think about them. Out of sight, out of mind.
"Designer brands and bags. After owning an item from each brand, it’s really the most big waste of money people can put their money on."
You do get what you pay for up to a certain point.
"The extra leg room..."
"First Class Airline tickets!"
"We lucked up on our last flight that we had no choice but to get first class and our company paid for it, but I can 100% say that it was NOT worth the extra $700."
"The extra leg room was nice, as I'm 6'7", but the "free cocktails" and additional food? Nah homie, I'm good."
Was this domestic? For those short flights First Class is pretty much not worth it, but for international long haul? A lie-down bed for a 13 hour flight is worth the 2x or more price, plus the other perks.
"Casual sex. I prefer competitive sex."
Evolutionarily speaking, life is about competitive sex...
"Being famous must suck big time. Imagine not being able to go shopping, taking a chill walk in the park, go to the beach, supermartket, etc... without people engaging with you."
Say goodbye to any privacy whatsoever. No thank you.
"Spent my prime years..."
"Alcohol. Spent my prime years drinking at college and all that, still say it’s the most overrated thing in history. So many better drugs that could have prevented long and short term health issues, made things more peaceful, more efficient, more successful, and so on. The fact that it’s globally advertised every millisecond proves it’s overrated."
There's nothing wrong with deciding to stop drinking (or never drinking at all) and people should not be shamed for it.
"Huge weddings. Why? Spend the money on something important or on a trip."
Some people want their best day ever to be a big party with all the people they care about. But there is a crazy level of stress involved in planning a party that size.
"Being an adult."
"Being an adult. What BS is this, and why the hell did we want to be adults when we were kids?"
Nah, being an adult is awesome. I wouldn't change it for the world. Freedom!
"Half of the time."
"Hot weather. Half of the time it is just horrible and you’re sweating in your clothes and the other half you’re at the beach burning alive."
Sorry, I'd rather it be hot than be freezing, but I'm one of those people who can never get warm.
Hey, it could be worse. We could be talking about how much Game of Thrones disappointed us (again) and how it is impossible to watch it now, a total slog, knowing where it ends up. Disappointing and overrated indeed.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!