This article came out of a casual night of trolling questions on Quora. I was new to the platform and felt like engaging in a few questions to feel it out. I came across the question “what are 10 things that are not worth it? ” and I felt a hint of bitterness well up from less-than-satisfactory experiences and I thought: “oh yeah, I can answer this”.
It seemed like a great opportunity to extract these feelings and perhaps turn them into lessons or personal reminders.
The list I came up with was, sometimes, controversial; but to my surprise, my answer had some modest success. I thought perhaps it may bring some value to others if I list and expand upon them.
Top 10 things that just aren’t worth doing in 2020:
Challenging people’s politics online
Many things will threaten your values online, perpetually. Unless it allows you to understand your own or another’s position with more resolution — it’s a waste of time. Almost always others won’t change their mind, so pick your battles. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter how many ‘libtards’ or ‘nazis’ you destroyed, you were probably baited, trolled, or unironically responding to a satire article anyway.
- Ranting on Social Media
Rants are emotional. The purpose isn’t necessarily to share carefully analyzed information, but to purge. What sounds reasonable and effective when you are emotional is definitely unreliable in translating to those who are casually perusing social media. You probably look like an uninformed idiot that can’t control themselves.
- Getting involved in a quarrel between two people
Do you really want to get involved?
You could become the scapegoat for their conflict. It takes a hell of a lot for people to break up sometimes, to the point of being delusional.
For example, some people will absolutely refuse to believe a partner has cheated even if they are told by multiple friends or even by the person who has slept with them themselves. Others will stay despite emotional manipulation or abuse. Steer clear if that’s an ethical option.
- Social media
It’s a good organizer for communication and contacts, but it will take valuable amounts of time away from you. It’s designed to keep you engaged. Your brain will adapt to it and reward you for your engagement.
Over time this habituates you and creates dependency. Your impulses will be wired and your habits out of alignment with your own goals.
A study in 2016 estimated that businesses in the U.S. lose $650 billion a year because of social media, which could only be worse today. What could be the equivalent loss in your life?
- Blind research or infotainment on the internet
If you’re the type that consumes a substantial amount of infotainment or reads articles until 3:00am because you want to know everything interesting happening in society, or know everything about multiple topics that interest you, you will overwhelm yourself and not remember anything if there is no specific project or purpose.
This is a tricky one because it convinces you that you are learning, but that tense feeling of unfulfillment after a while of consuming more information is still there as if you had just played video games that entire time. Deep learning is slow and focused.
- Buying unnecessary luxuries if you’re below upped middle class
This is how people lose money. They try to buy prestige, not earn it.
This could be a car you become indebted to, owning the latest technology at any given moment, and just generally living beyond your means instead of saving or investing.
It really can be hard to determine whether you really need/want/deserve something but the ‘tell’ is that you’re rationalizing. Remember, delayed gratification is a major determinant of success.
- Staying up late when you know you have to work the next morning
I hate to sound like your mother but even I still do this often because I feel like I never get enough done.
I especially stay up late when more work (for other people) is on the next day because I feel the pressure of not being able to do what I want to for an extended period of time, so I cram it in the night before; but the next day is always more miserable and then you have no energy left for your own activities and goals afterwards.
Sleep is incredibly important for your body, mind and sanity. It’s easily seen as something you can sacrifice, but it isn’t.
- Dating someone with different core values
No, love does not conquer all.
It’s really possible to waste many years of your life with someone incompatible and each of you will think you’re right in your own standing, and try to change the other person so it ends up a power struggle.
Figure out your own values and personality and find someone similar, but perhaps not too close as some challenge is a good thing. Sometimes compromise only breeds resentment.
- Acting in revenge
If you truly understand revenge as a means of justice, you’ll understand it’s futile. The only true justice is when a person understands their mistake, regrets it in proportion to the error, makes an appropriate amount of effort or sacrifice to remedy the mistake, and their new values render them incapable of the error.
This justice unfortunately is condemned to only come from their personal realization, but some sense of justice comes from the fact that if they don’t realize it, they have not grown. They are stunted.
In revenge, nobody learns anything. You give the perpetrator reason for rationalizing away their own guilt by giving them evidence that you are just as bad as they are.
- Neglecting your potential
People neglect their potential by putting off cultivating skills in areas they are passionate about or might have an inkling that they are, creating a tension that is complicated, painful, and ill-defined.
It’s a tragedy when people neglect these things because these are what will develop them into who they want to be and allow them to provide value in the ways they want to provide it, despite the fear and self-doubt involved in the process.
Article by Jushua Press/Medium.com