This Week in Internet Advice: Buzzfeed Tells You to Travel Alone

Over the years we have gone to the Internet to answer our questions and solve our dilemmas. Whatever you need to know you simply type it in to Google (or if you’re one of the six people from the Bing! commercial you type it into Bing!).

In recent years the Internet has responded to our dependence by giving us unsolicited advice that we didn’t know we needed. Lists and articles blow up our Twitter feeds telling us how to solve problems that we have yet to run into.

That’s why I created this feature. Every now and then such articles provide practical advice, but I have long felt that their best purpose is unintentional comedy. Periodically, I like to find one of these articles and break it down for you.

This week we are dipping into the Buzzfeed well for the first time with an article called “11 Reasons You Should Travel Alone.”

It’s nice to be able to break down a Buzzfeed article because they only take about 27 seconds to read, seeing as how they only consist of short sentences and GIFs. This article is no different. As usual with Buzzfeed, there is no introduction, simply 11 numbered points about why you should travel alone. Here are those points:

1. “It’s one of the most empowering things you will ever experience.”

Apparently, “There’s no greater feeling than embarking on a courageous journey alone with an open heart and open mind.”

Counterpoint: How about the trip back home? Not quite as empowering? The solo plane ride/road trip back to your shitty life might  counteract the wind-blowing-through-your-hair first three days of the journey.

2. “You Can Go Wherever You Want.”

Who needed to hear this? Can this even be considered a point?

3.  “Often people will look out for you more when you’re on your own.”

Is this true? Because I’m pretty sure it’s the exact opposite of what we tell every person under the age of 18. I hope the person who wrote this doesn’t have a child in elementary school. “Remember sweetie, strangers are more likely to look our for you if your’re on your own.”

4. “You can do what you want when you want.”

Is this really different than number two? 

Also, being alone doesn’t change what’s socially acceptable. You can’t just do whatever you want. If you light a napkin on fire in a fancy restaurant they’re still going to kick you out even if you’re alone. In fact, they’ll probably be more inclined to kick you out if you’re alone. Two paying customers could be at that table you crazy pyro. 

5. “It forces you out of your comfort zone.”

How does being alone force you out of your comfort zone? It has the opposite effect. If you’re alone you don’t have to change a single thing about your routine. At least if you’re with someone else they can suggest, “hey, we should go white water rafting,” or “hey, we should try to free all the penguins at the zoo.” 

6. You’re more open to meeting new people and trying new things.”

This point is accompanied by this GIF:

11 Reasons You Should Travel Alone At Least Once

So clearly the new thing you will be trying is acid. 

7. “It gives you a chance to discover things about yourself while you discover the world.”

Translation: It gives you a chance to post things about yourself on Facebook and Instagram that make you seem more enlightened. 

8. “Although you’re alone you don’t have to worry about being lonely.”

“…You will always be able to find someone willing to start up a conversation. People seem to be drawn to the lone traveler.”

Once again, it’s a little unnerving that this is somehow responsible logic when you’re traveling on a soul-searching quest, but at your local bar it’s a potential beginning to Silence of the Lambs.

9. “You can indulge in anything you want and no one will judge you.”

There’s a big difference between not being judged and simply not knowing the people that are judging you. Strangers still judge.

10. “Solo travel is cheaper.”

This point claims that “accommodations, activities and food” are cheaper if you are alone. Uhh…hotel and hostels are usually cheaper if you split them with someone, but maybe food is more expensive if you split the bill. Wait, nope, still cheaper. 

11. “Do it because you want to.”

 No. No. No. 

Do it because 11 GIFs told you to. 

Traveling alone can be a rewarding experience. But if you can’t articulate that experience through GIFs then you might as well just stay home.

To read about why the Internet says you shouldn’t feed your dog batteries, click here.

To read about why the Internet says you’re using the elliptical wrong, click here.  

-Jonny Auping

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