Brain unplugged

2019-04-24 06:02

MY social life is at an all-time low — I call it pre-hibernation mode. So I admit I am maximising my WiFi connection and spending a lot of empty hours scrolling through YouTube and Facebook looking for things that might brighten up my otherwise unremarkable life.

But I admit, like so many others I become hooked on the most mindless videos that have surely robbed me of years of my life.

I remember a decade or two ago when I was pregnant with my first child, I was the unwitting victim of television adverts. I would stay glued to the screen as the latest “buy me” advert would play over and over. I was determined to lose weight after the baby was born and to me the answer was apparent. I just had to buy the myriad of slimming and exercise equipment being touted as nothing short of miraculous.

I found the adverts fascinating and very persuasive — I would hear the American presenter start talking and my eyes would glaze over and I was induced into a hypnotic state. In my defence, I was breastfeeding and my brain cells were probably malnourished.

The clinching phrase was … and if you buy this now you can get this …. pineapple shaped ice-cube tray. Oooh — it sealed the deal.

I convinced my husband that the walking machine was the absolute “must have” item, and when it arrived it was huge and took up half of the space in the bedroom.

I tried it a few times and quickly got over it. It was to become a point of contention in our marriage. I thought it would make a nifty clothes rack for all the clothes I was too lazy to pack away. It was excellent in this role, if not slightly inelegant.

Experiencing a twinge of guilt when husband nearly killed himself tripping over it, I told him I needed to move it into the lounge so I could exercise while watching more mindless tele-commercials. The great cumbersome contraption was relocated to our lounge. There it sat and drew uncomplimentary comments from visitors and I personally found the couch more comfortable for watching the telly.

Eventually it was moved to the garage and it became lost in the history of unmentionable objects that had to be bought on a whim. I confess it was joined by a mini trampoline and thereafter a standing vibrating machine (no, not that type) that promised to delete all signs of cellulite and improve overall health. Now that I would buy if it was a hand-held device!

When we moved house a few years later, these objects were marked for sale immediately.

I have to admit that I have weaned myself off these adverts but I find that YouTube has become my new drug of choice.

I can spend hours watching DIY hacks and videos that promise to make your life easier and save you the time you should be using to get off your butt. My personal favourite is the five-minute craft videos that impart thousands of life-saving tips. Use an empty milk bottle as a watering can, a shower caddy, a cat poop scooper — oh the wisdom is endless.

Have I done any of these amazing life hacks … erm no. But I have wasted accumulated days watching these videos. They’re addictive. Beware …

So is there anyone keen to buy a glue gun, glitter and instructions on how to turn a wine box into a paper towel dispenser?

• Trish Beaver is a journalist, blogger –


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