This Week in Internet Advice: Don’t Eat Food and You’ll Get a Job

“This Week in Internet Advice” is a response to the overwhelming number of arbitrary advice columns on the Internet. The Internet has long been the place that we go to with our questions and as a result, over the past few years the Internet has responded by giving us unsolicited advice that we didn’t realize we needed. In this feature, the author picks one of these articles and points out the unintentional humor it provides. 

Guys, we’re back. I know, it’s been awhile since the last edition of “This Week in Internet Advice.” It’s not that the Internet took a break from giving us advice, I just took a break from making fun of that advice. 

Luckily, Huffington Post published an article that tells us that we should probably skip meals before a job interview and go into the ordeal hungry. Apparently a study was done at Dartmouth and Cornell that states that people who are hungry have a greater sense of entitlement and think they deserve more and, therefore, that entitlement will translate into your interviewer hiring you. 

I’d like to suggest that they are overstating the “entitlement” hunger causes us. Perhaps most humans feel entitled to keep living and because they require food to do so, they feel entitled to that food. But who am I to argue with the science of job interviews?

Here is the quote provided by Emily Zitek, who was one of the conductors of the study:

“If being hungry is a good way for someone to be entitled, as the surveys showed, they can maybe skip lunch or skip breakfast or something.”

I’m pretty old fashion, but I don’t like the last two words of my research studies to be “or something.” That’s one step up from, “or whatever, I dunno.” We can “maybe skip breakfast or lunch or something?” Thanks. Way to be confident in your findings.

Another really great part of this article was this picture it provided: 

job interview

The caption reads, “Perhaps this guys wolfed down a big meal before his interview.”

Uhh, yeah, perhaps. It actually seems like the interviewer is about to say “Are you ok? You look famished. Do you need some food? We can reschedule if you’re feeling lightheaded.” It doesn’t look like he just wolfed down a big meal, it looks like he’s about to pass out from hunger.

The researchers conducted two studies. In the first, they stopped college kids on campus and asked them on a 1 to 7 scale if they agreed with the statements, “I honestly feel more deserving than others” or “Things should go my way.” Then they asked them to rank their hunger on a 1 to 7 scale. Apparently hunger coincided with feeling deserving.

Here’s my problem: college students walking around campus have to give sporadicly different responses to “things should go my way.” I was in college not that long ago. You might have caught me on my way to a class that starts in 15 minutes on a day when I’m caught up with my studies, had plans to play basketball with some friends later and am feeling confient about my future. OR you might have caught me on my way to a class that started 15 minutes ago, wearing the same beer-stained clothes as the night before with a brutal headache and a fear that an unknown assignment was due today. I would likely have a drastically different opinion on what I feel I “deserve” on each day regardless of if I did or didn’t skip eating the disgusting microwavable lunch that my roommate happened to buy that week. 

The second experiment is much more ridiculous. They surveyed students who liked pizza while a pizza cooked nearby with a strong aroma. They also did the experiment without the aroma. Apparently, hungry students refused to answer the extra questions in the survey, which means they felt more entitled, which somehow means they would do well in an interview. 

Here’s that logic one more time: 1.) Hungry student refuses to finish survey. 2.) Refusal shows sense of entitlement. 3.) Sense of entitlement means that hungry student would nail an interview. 

I’m not quite sure how 1.) leads to 3.). 

It sort of seems like that study just proved that hungry people don’t like to keep doing things that are preventing them from eating. So wouldn’t a hungry person just want to rush through the interview?

I’ve also been conducting a similar study for just about my entire life and my results have proven that hungry people are cranky, irritable and absolutely miserable to be around. So if you want to get a job at the leasing office of a mid-level apartment complex then go ahead and skip lunch. You’ll fit right in. 

Jonny Auping


This Week in Internet Advice: Thought Catalog Still Misses the Nineties


“This Week in Internet Advice” is a response to the overwhelming number of arbitrary advice columns on the Internet. The Internet has long been the place that we go to with our questions and as a result, over the past few years the Internet has responded by giving us unsolicited advice that we didn’t realize we needed. In this feature, the author picks one of these articles and points out the unintentional humor it provides. 


The problem with Stories For Sunday is that it’s not a serious site worthy of your respect. The articles are just a bunch of random jokes with absolutely no intelligent thought behind them. None of them represent a satirical commentary on the generation we live in. I mean, the guys running this site can barely even write. 

Luckily, all you millennials have Thought Catalog to make up for all of our many faults. Thought Catalog is like the New Yorker of our generation, except instead of insightful commentaries that teach us, it’s full of relatable posts that make us feel more independent. Each piece is a perfectly well-crafted collection of sentences with insight so valuable that you’ll be sure to share it on your Facebook wall and get a minimum of 15 ‘likes.’

Oh you don’t believe me? Well, I’ll prove it by randomly selecting an article from the site and sharing the main points so you can see just how thought-provoking they actually are. 

Today, we’re going to take a look at “6 Things You Miss From the 90s” by Brianna Clark. 

Brianna introduces her piece as such:

“I was born in the 90s. I grew up in a time full of change. I also grew up in a time full of bowl cuts, mullets Harry Potter glasses,  overalls, and choker necklaces…But I feel like society in general has changed so much since I was a kid. Things are so different. A lot of things that I grew up with aren’t around (which obviously in some cases is a good thing) but there are definitely some things from my childhood I miss.”

Perfect. I totally agree. The political and social context has changed so much since the nineties and it’s undoubtably reflected in popular culture and consumer trends. I’m excited to see where this piece goes. In fact, I’ve got an idea. Let’s both say the thing we miss the most on the count of three. Maybe we’ll get the same thing. Ready? 1…2….3!!!!

1. “Green/Purple Ketchup”

….Princess Dian…..oh….uhh, yeah…green and purple ketchup….It’s just, I thought we were going to focus more on….no, that’s what I was going to say. 

“Does anyone remember this? I’m not really sure why Heinz thought that anyone would like this. I’m also not sure why I thought it was so cool. Its actually pretty disgusting. But needless to say, it was awesome and I miss it. But the only color ketchup I would eat is pink.”

So…you wouldn’t eat red?

2. “Computer Games”

“Like Oregon Trail. This game was my literal shit. It was a computer game and you basically had to cross the Oregon Trail without dying.”

Yeah, I know what Oregon Trail is. I don’t think you know what “literal” means. 

“Oh and don’t even get me started on The Sims. I would still play that game.”

What do you mean you would still play it? It still exists. Wikipedia says The Sims 3 came out in 2009 and has sold over 10 million copies. 

 “I also used to make them “woohoo” and I thought I was being so sneaky and rebellious because my characters in a PG computer game were making babies…what.”


3. “YoYos”

“You could just call me the yo-yo master.”

I could, but right now it would have to get in line behind a number of other options. 

4. “Kool Aid in a Bottle”

Once again, this still exists. They didn’t stop making them. I’m getting the feeling that maybe you just miss being a child rather than actually missing the time period of the nineties. 

Ohhhh, I get it. You’re making a statement about the childlike state that exists in all of us and that’s why you’re writing like a preteen and your work is littered with grammatical and punctuational errors. Thought Catalog, you’ve done it again. Sometimes societal commentaries are just over my head. This is why your stuff is so much more high brow than Buzzfeed. They’d be talking about stupid TV shows or something…

5. “TV Shows”

“Honestly I would do anything for some more seasons of All That, The Amanda Show, Rocket Power, Full House or Keenan and Kel. I wish my kids could have those shows growing up. Nowadays Disney’s and Nickelodeon’s shows are all a little too grown-up, in my opinion. I babysit a lot (which is why I watch this kind of stuff still..) and sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be allowing the kids to watch these things! It’s a little ridiculous.”

I’m pretty sure Rocko’s Modern Life, Ren and Stimpy and Ed, Edd N Eddy were all really unsuitable for kids. Brain definitely beat the shit out of Pinky almost every episode. 

6. “Hit Clips”

“These were literally the coolest things ever at the time. Even though you could only listen to like 10 seconds of a song. I had a Britney Spears one and an N*SYNC one that I never went anywhere without. It’s so funny to me that these were like revolutionary for that time. And now we have iPods with touch screens and shit.”

Totes. It’s almost like we’ve replaced small, chopped down version of songs with chopped down, improper versions of the English language. 

“It was such a fun time to grow up. My roommates and I were talking about some of our all-time favorite movies from our childhood, and it’s crazy to think that some of them came out like twelve years ago already. Princess Diaries, Legally Blonde and Monster’s Inc – yeah, I was in 1st grade. Miss Congeniality- I was in kindergarten. It’s crazy.”

It is crazy. It’s crazy that there are people out there not reading Thought Catalog. How would they know what Brianna and her roommates’ favorite movies were? You might not have thought you missed these six things, but you do. If Thought Catalog says you miss them, you miss them. 

Jonny Auping

This Week in Internet Advice: Without a Leather Jacket You’re Not a Man

leather jackets price

“This Week in Internet Advice” is a response to the overwhelming number of arbitrary advice columns on the Internet. The Internet has long been the place that we go to with our questions and as a result, over the past few years the Internet has responded by giving us unsolicited advice that we didn’t realize we needed. In this feature, the author picks one of these articles and points out the unintentional humor it provides. 

The last edition of “TWIIA” (yeah, it’s got an abbreviation now, that’s how you know we’re blowing up) featured a breakdown of a Huffington Post article urging readers to move to Hawaii. Let’s just say the article didn’t exactly cater to the 99 percent.

This week I found an article on the Huffington Post titled “The One Item Every Man Should Have in His Closet: A Leather Jacket.” Once again, I think the writers at Huffington Post are forgetting one seemingly important detail: we’re not all flush with disposable cash. 

But I am a man. Or at least I thought I was. So I decided to to give the article a look and determine if I really need to buy a leather jacket. Here’s a breakdown of their reasoning:

1.) Leather jackets have been the uniform of cool guys since the era of Brando, Dean and Zuko…

This is true, but fedoras and varsity jackets were also pretty neat back in the era of Brando, Dean and Zuko. Racial segration, atomic scares and Soviet paranoia were the bees’ knees back then too. So even if Sandy really liked Zuko’s jacket I might take a different approach. 

2. … and for guys today, like Beckham, Pattinson and Pitt.

pitt pattinson beckham

When you put on your leather jacket people are going to be all like, “is that Brad Pitt?” and their friends will be like, “No, I’m pretty sure that’s David Beckham.”

It’s a pretty common mistake to think that Pattinson, Pitt and Beckham are actually really good looking. The reality is that they just have really great leather jackets. 

3. You can wear a leather jacket with just about anything, from jeans and plaid shirts to dress pants and a tie.

leather jackets

So basically you can wear them vaguely ironically, ironically or really ironically. 

Also, you know how many people can pull off the the three styles pictured above? Three people. The three people in the pictures above. And they can only pull it off the way the way Zach Galikinakis can pull off the fat, bearded weirdo look; it works for him now, but if he weren’t famous and were eating lunch in a break room I’d probably wait until he was done to eat my lunch. 

What to know before you buy a leather jacket:

1. Decide what kind of style you want. A jacket with oversized lapels (far left)? A motocross jacket with a petite collar (middle)? Or a bomber with a fitted waistband and sleeves (far right)?

leather jackets

It’s kind of obvious what they’re trying to say with this point/picture. They may be showing different styles, but they just needed this picture to be like “see, black people can wear them too.”

On a separate note, the listed prices for these three jackets are $895, $1,197, and $1,280 respectively. If I’m going to spend that much money for the jacket that Tyrese wears in the Fast and the Furious movies then it better be the actual jacket Tyrese wears in the Fast and the Furious movies. 

2. Decide how much you want to spend. A higher price often indicates softer leather, higher quality hardware and a better fit. But there are great jackets at a variety of prices.

Yep, there’s a whole variety of prices. Some cost about as much as a few months rent while others just cost about as much as few months electricity, water and groceries. 

3. If you’re hesitant about making the splurge, give it a test-run: Faux leather jackets are more abundant (and look better) than ever.

One of the listed prices for these “faux leather jackets” is $228. So they are suggesting you spend over $200 to test-run a jacket so that you can spend over $1,000 to buy a real leather jacket. That car payment might have to wait, but when you’re riding the bus in your leather jacket you can look at the driver, give a James Dean-esque head nod and say “the Huffington Post says I’m a man now.”

4. And whatever you do, do NOT get a leather blazer.leather blazers

Apparently fat people wear those. 

I’m pretty sure if you put Beckham, Pitt and Pattinson in the leather blazers and these three guys in the leather jackets it would really screw up this article. 

Look, I’m all for lazy, economically insensitive, gender role enforcing fashion advice, but this article made a glaring omission: They didn’t say anything about Fonzie.

They easily could have written an article convincing guys to buy leather jackets that looked like this:


I know, you can make the same argument for Fonzie that I made for Brando, Dean and Zuko, but when the Fonz’ flashes the double thumbs up you’re going to go with the flow. It’s just inevitable. 

Jonny Auping

To read about why the Internet says you should move to Hawaii, click here.

To read about why the Internet hates young married couples, click here.

To read about how the Internet helped you with your Christmas shopping, click here.

This Week in Internet Advice: Apparently Hawaii is Nice

“This Week in Internet Advice” is a response to the overwhelming number of arbitrary advice columns on the Internet. The Internet has long been the place that we go to with our questions and as a result, over the past few years the Internet has responded by giving us unsolicited advice that we didn’t realize we needed. In this feature, the author picks one of these articles and points out the unintentional humor it provides. 

I’m going to let you guys in on a secret about this recurring feature that I’ve been writing for over a month now. You might think that I see a ridiculous advice column on the Internet and say to myself, “That’s a good article for me to make fun of.” That’s actually not how it works. In reality the process goes like this: I say to myself, “I should write a post making fun of an article written on the Interent that is giving us meaningless advice in the form of lists or bullet points” then I proceed to find just such an article. 

What I’m trying to say is that at any given moment I’m extremely confident I can find a ridiculous article on a major publication that tries to tell you why you’re living your life wrong. It usually takes about 3-7 minutes to find the article. 

Today I found this article on the Huffington Post entitled “7 Really Good Reasons You Should Move to Hawaii.” 

You’re probably thinking the same thing I thought when I saw the headline: Another controversial take by the Huffington Post. I’m assuming this barely beat out “7 Reasons You Should Date a Super Model” and “7 Reasons You Should Win the Lottery.”

Let’s take a look at the seven reasons because I’m going to need some convincing that this Hawaii dump is actually worth moving to…

1.) “First off, this is considered a ‘chilly’ winter day in Hawaii:” 

hawaii forecast

Yep, one of the reasons is a screen shot of a weather app. I’m glad that I went to college and studied how to become a better writer, but it’s a little frustrating that all of my professors failed to mention I could just take screen shots on my iPhone and start sentences with “First off” and an enormous publication would still publish me. 

I guess those little things aren’t considered taboo when you’re bringing groundbreaking reporting to the table like the fact that the weather is nice in Hawaii.

2.) “…When you live in Hawaii, your friends and family come to you.”

Remember, poor people aren’t really your friends. Some friends will really show their true colors when they selfishly can’t afford a $2,000 flight to come visit you.

3.) “Put your (Hawaii) home or apartment on VRBO (rent it out) during Hawaii’s peak travel season (December-March) and your Colorado Ski Vacation will basically pay for itself.”

This is realistic.

4.) “The cost of living in Hawaii is on par with New York City or San Francisco…but life is lived more simply here.”

The point also makes mention that “you’ll never need another pair of expensive shoes because slippers are acceptable everywhere.” 

Maybe some day, I’ll have the guts to sell my shoes and use the money to live in Hawaii for the rest of my life. Also, I bet “acceptable everywhere” is a gross exaggeration. Even in Hawaii I probably wouldn’t wear slippers to a funeral. 

5.) You’ll be able to find a job because Hawaii is “an epicenter for scientific and marine research, environmental technology, sustainable living entrepreneurship, and government and security affairs.”

And since none of those jobs require specific college degrees you should be able to just walk up and ask for a job and they’ll give it to you…assuming you’re wearing your slippers. 

And don’t worry, I’m pretty sure they have clauses that allow you to take time off from December-March for your Colorado ski vacation. 

6.) “Island Fever is real and it probably will happen to you” but “thankfully, there are other islands within Hawaii.”

Yep, going to another island sounds like the perfect remedy for “island fever.” Kind of like how if you’re claustrophobic and you’re trapped in a box, you should just go inside a different box.*

*The original response to this point was “What kind of asshole gets ‘island fever’ in Hawaii?”

7.) You may think, “I’m not relaxed enough to live in Hawaii,” but “all we can say is don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.”

Oh man, if I had a dollar for every person who told me they aren’t relaxed enough to live in Hawaii I’d be about $2,000 short of a flight to Hawaii. 

Please understand that someone seriously just used the argument “don’t knock it until you try it” while trying to convince you to move to Hawaii. Who is “knocking” the notion of moving to Hawaii? I’m not moving to Hawaii because it is financially impossible for me to do so. I don’t have cold feet because I’m worried about “island fever.”

I would challenge the writer of this article to go up to anyone who works double-shifts at an hourly wage while trying to provide for their family and read these seven reasons to them about why they should move to Hawaii. Then come to me and I’ll give you some ice to deal with the fact that you just got punched in the face. 

Honestly, I don’t think you’re cut out for travel advice. But you know what you should do instead? You should write a New York Times Best Seller that gets turned into a movie like Harry Potter or something. I know you’re probably thinking that you’ll come down with “money fever” or “fame fever” but hey, don’t knock it until you try it. 

-Jonny Auping

To read about why the Internet says you shouldn’t get married at 23, click here.

To read about how the Internet saved your Christmas shopping, click here.

To read about why the Internet says you should travel alone, click here.

This Week in Internet Advice: Blogger Hates Young Married Couples

I’ve been doing this recurring article for a couple weeks now and so far the websites I’ve made fun of have been large publications like Buzzfeed, Huffington Post and Thought Catalog…you know, big wig editors who capitalize off the combination of boredom and restlessness of twenty somethings by making up generic lists and on-the-fly advice columns that make the reader feel more free and spontaneous.

Normally, I would stay away from a writer like Vanessa Elizabeth and her website She’s a talented young writer who has had a lot of success blogging about her travels. I hope she keeps writing and I hope her website only becomes more popular.

That being said, she recently wrote an article entitled “23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Married Before You’re 23.” And I’m going to make fun of it.

I made this decision when I realized that the number of “things” she provides just so happens to be the same as the age of which she is referring to. I thought to myself, “Either that’s a crazy coincidence or, like every other list on the Internet, she thought of the number way before she thought of any of the things and just filled it in with random bullshit.”

Catering to single people on the Internet is like serving Chick-Fil-A at Phil Robertson’s house: you’re going to get a lot of attention and compliments, but did you really earn them? This is just a classic example of “lonely people porn,” not to be confused with regular porn, which is also directed towards lonely people. 

So I felt like I had to check out these “23 things” for myself to see if they’re legit.

1.) Get a Passport

You guys remember that law Obama tried to pass that said married people can’t apply for passports/leave the country? Well, it didn’t pass….and it never existed. 

Also, you don’t have to be alone to enjoy foreign travel. I went abroad three years ago with my girlfriend at the time and a number of friends. It was fun. I am no longer dating that girl, but I certainly don’t regret the trip. Pictures of young people standing on a mountain by themselves with the sunset are inspiring, but your friends or significant others are in your life because you like them. And you’re allowed to travel with them.

2.) Find Your “Thing”

This is actually good advice. It’s good to find your “thing” before you get married because people who have just recently found their “thing” won’t shut the hell up about it and it drives everyone around them crazy. People who find their “thing” after marriage have a 92 percent chance of divorce.

3.) Make out with a Stranger

It would be pretty ironic if you ended up marrying that stranger, am I right?

4.) Adopt a Pet

Yeah, your married friends may think they’re happy, but when you’re chilling at home with your four cats I think we all know who has the sweeter deal.

5.) Start a Band

Seeing other people’s marriage/wedding/engagement stuff on social media can get annoying, I get it.

But with all due respect to my friends in bands, you know what’s more annoying? Getting Facebook invitations to see some shitty band play three states away. I’m glad you’re finding your “thing” but the rest of us have ears and we don’t want to go to your show and pay a $10 cover to listen to a mediocre acoustic cover of “The General” by Dispatch.

6.) Make a Cake. Make a Second Cake. Have Your Cake and eat it too. 

Right, because weddings don’t involve cake…

7.) Get a Tattoo. It’s more Permanent than Marriage.

50 years later you can show people your regrettable “Young Wild and Free” tattoo and be like, “That was back when I was in my phase of traveling around making out with strangers, adopting pets, and eating an insane amount of cake by myself. It was kind of my ‘thing.'”

8.) Explore a New Religion

If you’re almost 23 and haven’t found someone willing to marry you it’s probably just because you’re praying to the wrong god.

9.) Start a Small Business

Why get tied down in marriage when you can get tied down with enormous debt from your failed travel scrapbooking business?

10.) Cut Your Hair

If it looks bad no one will notice. You know, because you’re alone.

11.) Date Two People at the Same Time and See How Long it Takes to Blow Up in Your Face

This is a great time in your life to seriously hurt other people’s feelings. If this doesn’t work try kidnapping a young child’s puppy and watch from a distance as they put up “Lost Dog” signs and slowly realize they will never get their best friend back.

12.) Build Something With Your Hands

It’s nice that millennials need to be asked to do this once before we turn 23. “Clash of Clans” villages don’t count.

13.) Accomplish a Pintrest Project. 

In other words, pretend to plan a wedding on the Internet instead of actually having one.

14.) Join the Peace Corps

That’s not a millennial thing. That’s a Gen X thing. Grow up.

15.) Disappoint your Parents

If you’ve changed your religion, started a band, gotten a tribal tattoo and formed a habit of making out with strangers you might already have this one covered.

16.) Watch GIRLS over and over again.

And don’t you DARE once admit that it’s a fictional show!

17.) Eat a Jar of Nutella in One Sitting

I had thought that this was basically the definition of marriage.

18.) Make Strangers Feel Uncomfortable in Public Places

By making out with them?

19.) Signup for Crossfit

Then deactivate your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts so people don’t have to hear about your progress.

20.) Hangout Naked in Front of a Window.

I would recommend that it not be a drive-thru window. The employees at McDonalds have stun guns in case there’s a robbery and they do NOT care whether or not you’re married. 

21.) Write Your Feelings Down in a Blog


“Entry #12,

So I was hanging out naked in front of my parents’ window today. They are really disappointed   in me. Also, I was looking at my naked body and, wow, I really need to sign up for Crossfit. Anyway, I was all signed up to join the Peace Corps, but then I realized it got in the way of band practice and my new Buddhist teachings say I shouldn’t try to do too much at once…I tried to build a birdhouse with my hands, but it fell apart. I’m going to need to make out with a LOT of strangers to get over this. Single life is cray. #YoungWildAndFree”

22.) Be Selfish

Definitely. If a homeless person asks for some spare change, just be like “Uhh I’m single bitch. Go find some young married chumps to be unselfish…If you want to make out I’d be down, but I’m not giving you any money.”

23.) Come with me to the Philippines for Chinese New Years.

 I’m there. Only one question: Can I bring my wife?

JK, I’m single. You tell me the window and I’ll meet you there. Naked. 


Look people, I’m not making fun of the sentiment as a whole. I agree with Vanessa that getting married at that young of an age without being absolutely certain that you’re ready to sacrifice the thrill (and anxiety) of being a young adult on your own in the world is a bad idea. But just as bad of an idea is making enormously huge life decisions based on lists on the Internet. 

With the exception of the “make out with strangers” option you can do all of these things with your wife or husband and if you’re right for each other you’ll do just fine. 

Like I said, I don’t mean to make fun of the writer. I just hope everyone knows that a tattoo or a cold and awkward breeze from a window will ultimately mean a lot less to you than the person you love.

To read 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.   

To read about why the Internet says you should travel alone, click here.

To read about the Internet helping you with Christmas shopping, click here.  

-Jonny Auping

This Week in Internet Advice: Thought Catalog Helps With Christmas Shopping

If you’re new to this feature here’s the gist of it: we have gone to the Internet for advice for so many years now that recently it has been providing us with unsolicited advice in the form of lists and random self-help articles concerning problems that we didn’t realize existed.

Rather than serving practical purposes, the result of said articles is more often than not unintentional humor. So every week I select one of those articles and break it down for you.

So far we have covered articles published in Yahoo!, the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. Now it’s time for Thought Catalog. 

This millennial go-to for generational woes published this article titled “10 Not-So-Awkward Gifts For Those ‘Friends’ You Barely Know.” This extremely specific piece was written to help with gift ideas for those very casual friends that are hard to shop for. Here were the suggestions:

10.) Personal Popcorn Popper.

This picture was included:


So let me get this straight, you’re telling me handing someone I barely know a gift that looks like the above photo and saying “Merry Christmas” won’t be awkward? 

That’s funny because it sounds incredibly awkward. 

2.) An Amazon Gift Card

The description suggests a $50 gift card. FIFTY DOLLARS? I thought I barely knew this person. How nice of a guy do you think I am, Thought Catalog? 

Also, is that how much you guys pay for your personal popcorn poppers? Because if so, you are getting ripped off.

3.) A Fountain Pen.

The description starts with three one-word sentences: “Classy. Sophisticated. Daring.”

I’m going to give you a few little catch phrases I just made up and you tell me which one you think would get rejected by an advertising agency.

Classy. Sophisticated. Daring….Jaguar.

Classy. Sophisticated. Daring….Wild Turkey Bourbon.

Classy. Sophisticated. Daring…Fountain Pen. 

4.) Bonzi Tree


Well, Thought Catalog, what if this casual friend happens to be Asian? Should I still give him/her a Bonzi tree for Christmas? Are you sure? Because I’m not a huge fan of my casual friends thinking I’m a racist. 

5.) Coffee Table Book.

I got my sister (who I’m pretty close with) a coffee table book for Christmas a couple years ago, but thanks for making me feel like a bad gift giver/shitty brother. Maybe if I was casual friends with you guys I could afford to get her something nicer with all the $50 Amazon cards I’d have by now.

6. Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity

The last time I played Cards Against Humanity the following phrase was played: “Having trouble with black people? Try AIDS” So I’m going to go ahead and say this isn’t the safest gift for someone you barely know.

7.) Apples To Apples

I appreciate the compromise down from Cards Against Humanity, but since most of my causal friends are older than 12 years old I’ll probably pass on this one too. 

8.) Swiss Army Knife

“Gee Whiz, thanks dad!!! You think maybe we can take this and go camping later?”

“Sure we can, but I’m not your dad I’m just your casual friend who got you this strangely paternal Christmas gift. Take care of it, your grandpa gave that to me when I was about your age.”

9.) Nalgene Bottle

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle

Nothing says ‘I know nothing about you’ like giving someone a gift that implies, “So I noticed you require water. Here is a container to hold that water.”

10. I Am Not a Paper Cup


An environmentally-conscious reusable coffee cup? Great idea. This way, if you ever see that friend drinking coffee out of an actual paper cup then you’ll know he/she hates you and doesn’t care about your feelings. A real two birds with one stone gift.

Thanks Thought Catalog, you saved Christmas. 

To read why the Internet says you should travel alone, click here.

To read about the Internet criticizing your elliptical use, click here.

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

Jonny Auping

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