1. Your old Xanga/Livejournal/etc.
Spoiler alert: You were a huge tool at the age of 15. And while there is certainly a certain morbid curiosity in exploring all of the things you were doing and the people you were falling madly in and out of love with every two weeks, it’s best to avoid this for the most part. The other day, I lost a full two hours scrolling, mesmerized by my Xanga-era idiocy. It was all a blur of Jimmy Eat World quotes, weird inside jokes that I apparently had with friends that make no sense, and boyfriends I was “head over heels for (lessthanthree)” after a month. I LITERALLY WROTE OUT THE WORDS LESS THAN THREE. Can we just collectively burn these websites and never go back to that part of the internet again?
2. The blog you hate-read.
Your brain is not getting anything new from this. You don’t like this person. You don’t agree with them. Their presence on the internet upsets you fundamentally. So why are you giving them your time? Why are you going to subject yourself to scrolling through Perez Hilton while muttering about what a misogynistic pile of soggy hairballs that man is — what is that bringing to your life? (Just kidding, no one reads Perez Hilton anymore. But you get my point.)
3. The Sartorialist.
I will admit that I often make this mistake myself. I find myself bored and staring at my relatively paltry closet, as though massaging it with my eyeballs for a while is going to magically make better-looking clothes appear, and what do I do? I think, “Hey! Time to get some ~inspiration~. Let’s head over to see what Schuman is up to these days!” And then I proceed to cry into my ill-fitting sweater over how beautiful these people are, and how thin, and how delectably Eurotrashy, and how everything they’re wearing costs thousands of dollars, and how no amount of work on my part would ever bring me to this level of Insane Rich Person-Chic. It’s just not worth it.
4. YouTube comments sections.
Unless you want to watch two barely-literate rednecks argue back-and-forth about Muslims in the world’s least-conducive layout to reading a conversation thread, directly under a video of a baby farting in a bathtub — stay away.
5. Your ex’s Facebook.
What is the ideal outcome of doing this? Either they became a hunchbacked social pariah who sits in some kind of bell tower pining away for you and self-flagellating over the mistake they made by leaving, or they are spending their days on an exotic beach taking incredibly photogenic profile pictures with their significant other whilst sipping a fruity cocktail out of a coconut. Are either of these good? (Okay, fine, the first one would be kind of awesome — but we are bad people for wanting that to happen. Let’s just not torture ourselves with keeping up on their day-to-day.)
6. DIY tutorials for twee things.
Do you really think you’re going to go home and make those absurd little mason jars where you break open a glowstick and dump it out inside and throw some glitter on top of the glow juice so that you turn out the lights and have a sparkly row of jars? Aside from the fact that glow sticks usually last about 20 minutes in my extensive experience, things like this never — and I mean NEVER — come out looking the way they do in the picture. Your room is never going to end up looking like the backdrop to one of Zooey Deschanel’s wet dreams if you only have construction items that include paperclips, googly eyes, and elbow macaroni. Besides, we all know you’re not going to try anyway. You’re just going to look at the twee DIY thing, think about how cute it is for five minutes, and then move on with life. Let’s be real.
7. Food porn blogs (while hungry.)
I hate to say this, but looking at hi-def pictures of delicious-looking, complex, fancy-as-shit food for hours on end when you are starving and have no access to food is not going to somehow satiate your stomach through eyeball osmosis. And believe me, I tried. The last time I got into one of these spirals, I ended up following a ranch dressing-themed Tumblr at 5 AM waiting for the bakery to open. (Full disclosure: Still follow that blog. #noshame)
8. Reality stars’ Twitters.
What do you stand to gain from realizing that Snooki has, like, 70 trillion Twitter followers — and the clout that comes with it? Yes, it’s going to make you slowly lose faith in humanity and consider your place in a universe cold and cruel enough to allow this, but that’s a bad thing. We’ve become so desensitized to how awful reality TV culture is that we just kind of accept the blinding, profound rage we feel towards the influence they have on society, culture, and other human beings — but that should not be accepted. There is nothing good that can possibly come from looking to see if Pumpkin from Flavor of Love has been pimping a new line of rhinestone-studded diaphragms lately or whatever. (Though you could honestly go find New York’s Twitter, because she is perfect and wonderful.)
9. Online stores you can’t afford.
You know that moment when you’re browsing an online store filled with things that you would sell your firstborn for but couldn’t ever reasonably purchase, putting the things you want in your little e-basket, only to go to checkout and see the price and be like LOL NO. Why do we torture ourselves so?
10. Terrifying Wikipedia articles.
I Wikipedia’d Scavenger’s Daughter yesterday after seeing it referenced online and it led me into a spiral of the most horrifying medieval torture devices you could ever imagine (their love for chopping off dude’s weenies reached near-artistic proportions at a certain point). There is nothing that stands to be gained from learning the gory details of the evil in human history — especially not when you’re semi-drunk on the internet at 2 AM. No one wants to see your subsequent cry-tweets about how evil Genghis Khan was. No one.