9 Tech Habits to Ditch in 2017

Join me in these small acts of resistance.

12.29.16
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I like referring to phones and screens and apps as “technology.” It feels very 1995 and enables me to pretend these devices aren’t essentially our external organs these days. It harkens back to a simpler time when some people were still saying the Internet wouldn’t be a thing and 10G of storage cost like five trillion dollars. That is, a time that wasn’t 2016. Have I mentioned it’s still 2016? Because it is.

But we’re almost through it! Maybe with the turning of a new year we can reevaluate our relationship with technology — not by limiting it (I told you I refuse to feel bad about my phone), but by sifting out the worst bits. Like cleaning the 2016 litter box! Let’s discuss all the shitty tech habits we ought to leave behind as we race towards 2017. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

1. The fucking Snapchat dog filter.

Let’s banish this entirely. Snapchat, are you listening? We can’t be trusted with this filter. We’ll use it for its cute little nose and ears and abuse it for its low-key smoothing effect. Cold turkey seems the only reasonable approach here. 2017 should never know us as dogs.

2. Venmo caption anxiety.

In 2017, let’s not hold ourselves to such high Venmo caption standards. The pressure is crushing us! We’re missing entire conversations because we aim to delight and surprise with every payment. Next year, a single emoji will have to do.

3. Early morning/late night Instagram spirals.

Let’s stop pretending we’re just setting our alarms (night) or turning them off (morning) and then proceeding to click around Instagram for upwards of 45 minutes, thus messing with whatever was left of our natural circadian rhythm.

4. Netflix decision paralysis.

How about this: We open Netflix. We pick the first movie that appeals to us. We watch it. We go to bed. That’s 2017!!!!! No more maintaining marginal interest while waiting around for something better. No more being Netflix fuckbois!

5. Sharing Friend Anniversaries on Facebook

Can we come to the collective understanding that no one cares about anyone else’s fucking Facebook friendship anniversary?! Let’s not even touch on the fact that these typically don’t reflect IRL friendship anniversaries. So. Pointless.

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6. Temporary phone amnesia.

Let’s stop testing our reflexes by way of checking our phones for the time, then failing to comprehend the time, then having to check again three minutes later. Nothing about this is cute. Our short-term memories are shot and it’s our own damn fault.

7. Paranoid spoiler avoidance.

We have to stop caring so much about spoilers. It’s not that big of a deal to learn about one thing that happens in one episode of one show. Who cares? It’s a story! Plus, knowing what happens and having to work backwards to figure out how the show gets there is just as intellectually stimulating! (Work with me here.)

8. Killing a meme in under 24 hours.

Seriously. Just talk to Ken Bone.

9. #Goals

Let’s kill this hashtag. Or maybe all hashtags, but let’s start with this one. Because it’s breeding comparison culture and making us all want to stab our eyes out with pipe cleaners.

Okay, that’s all I have for now. What do you want/need us to kill in 2017?

Illustrations by Maria Jia Ling Pitt; follow her on Instagram @heysuperstar.

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