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Published: Sunday January 12, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday January 12, 2014 MYT 9:56:48 AM

Drop the resolutions

1. I must meet up with my online friends

This is always a popular resolution. It is also, without question, the stupidest. An online contact is the perfect friend.

Their profile photo is charming and flattering, they talk exclusively in witty little soundbites and, if they ever start to annoy you, you can click a button and never hear from them again. That’s enough.

I guarantee that meeting these people in real life will be a profound disappointment. That zany guy who constantly spouts hilarious zingers on Twitter?

He’s a monosyllabic data entry officer with dribble in the corner of his mouth, who twitches and stares at people for slightly too long. That gin-obsessed burlesque and cupcake fanatic you’ve secretly had your eye on? She looks nothing like her profile picture, smells of rotten vegetables and cries for 18 hours a day.

But, the alternative is even worse. The alternative is that they’ll be exactly like their online personas – overbearing and needy and desperate to react to everything with a tedious one-liner. Go out with a group of people you only know online and one of them will definitely try to kiss you. Which would be good, except they’re Internet people, so it isn’t.

2. I am going to read more books

This is self-delusion. Look at your life right now. Look how busy it is. Look how you’ve started to eat standing up and urinate in the shower, just to claw back a few scraps of time from your corporate overlords.

Who has the time to sit down and read a story about pretend people flapping about in a made-up world any more? Aristocrats. That’s about it.

Also, reading a book means buying a book, and when was the last time you went into a book shop? They’ve changed. They know that you’re just going to buy everything from Amazon now, so they’ve all cut their losses and stacked every shelf with a trillion different 50 Shades Of Grey knock-offs called things like Disciplined With Buttplugs and 20 Carat Strumpet.

If you’re going to read more books this year, it means outing yourself as a pervert. Is that what you want?

3. I must use my smartphone less

What an exercise in futility this is. Why would you ever want to use your smartphone less?

It’s your entire life. You can’t get to places without Google Maps. You can’t win arguments without Wikipedia, or get through a single film without IMDb. You can’t remember what any of your friends look like without Facebook. You keep all your notes on your phone. You keep all your music on your phone. Your photos. You’re probably reading this on your phone.

It’s become an external hard drive for your brain. You may as well resolve to jam a screwdriver into your ear and jiggle it about a bit.

You’ll miss your smartphone when it’s gone. You’ll have nothing to look at when you’re left alone at a pub table. You’ll be forced just to stare at the ceiling for hours when you wake up before your other half and they’re asleep on your arm.

What are you expected to do when you’re on a train, or sitting on the toilet, or slightly bored, or just have two seconds when you’re not being jammed in the face with lights and colours and noise? Think about stuff? Make plans to better yourself? Gain a sliver of self-awareness, even momentarily? Yuck. If anything, you need to use that smartphone more. – Guardian News & Media

4. I am going to do more exercise

It makes perfect sense for you to want to get in shape. I mean, look at you. You’ve just spent the last three weeks packing your digestive system to capacity with Celebrations and cold meat. You perpetually suffer from acid reflux. Your eyes are glazed and milky. You haven’t bent over for days, for fear that your jeans will explode and blind everyone in a 30ft radius with deadly slivers of rivet shrapnel. You’re pretty sure that you’ve started to seep gravy at night.

But is exercise the answer? Is it really? Think about it. First of all, it hurts. Attempting any sort of physical activity, if you haven’t done it for a while, will basically render you immobile for a month. You’ll stagger around, unable to bend your knees, deluding yourself that it’s doing you good. 

And what if you start to enjoy it? You’ll buy tight little tops and expensive shoes that are wildly overqualified to help you plod around a park twice a week. You’ll start drinking grotty protein shakes. You’ll fill up everyone’s Facebook with maps and distances and stats, when all they want is to be racist and perv over people they went to school with. You cannot win. Just join a gym and never go, like everyone else. — Guardian News & Media

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, resolutions, self-delusion, books

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