5 Important Things That We All Somehow Slack Off On


How much effort would you put into being, would you say? Like, say a 10 is working three jobs and still waking up to go running for a few miles in the morning, and a 1 is keeping a bottle near your bed so you don’t have to get up to pee. While some of us are real go-getters, I hear secondhand that many of the rest of us are just half-assing everything we do to a greater or lesser degree, because effort takes effort, and who the hell needs that? And it’s not just relationships, or building a boat; it’s everything. We half-ass everything.


No One Is Doing Hygiene Right

I was at Walmart recently, because I keep my shit real, and I had to urinate, which is what mature people call whizzing. So while washing my hands, this dude who also had to whiz came up to the next sink, put one hand under the faucet, and literally missed the water, then walked away. I was saddened by his lack of respect for the “best hand-washing practices” sticker that was very visible on the mirror. But it did emphasize for me that probably no one is out there washing their hands properly. The same people who are shaking your hand or making your flapjacks or sneaking a thumb into your mouth when you’re sleeping.

Michigan State University researchers staked out several bathrooms to check out thousands of people’s techniques, and a staggeringly gross 95 percent of people weren’t washing their hands correctly. 33 percent don’t use soap, and 10 percent don’t wash at all. The average wash time was only six seconds. Every time you touch anything someone else has touched, you’re basically touching someone else’s crotch resin.

It’s not just your hands that are being left encrusted with globules of funk; it’s your face hole too. You’re supposed to brush your teeth for a solid two minutes at least twice a day, for an epic 240 seconds per day. The average is somewhere between 45 and 70 seconds. And it’d maybe make sense if people were asking us to spend an hour on oral hygiene — that seems daunting — but two minutes? Think of how much time you spend on social media or shoving corn in your neighbor’s tailpipe. There’s room for two minutes.

We even sleep in filth, because apparently laundry is modern humanity’s equivalent of toiling for 40 years in the desert, and fuck that right in its ear. Experts — not just in sweating in bed, but in science stuff like microbiology — suggest washing your sheets once a week. And your pillowcase should be getting cleaned every other day. Why? Because you’re a gross, leaky goo bag. You produce 26 gallons of sweat a year, much of which is currently steeped in your bed, making your mattress into a sloughed flesh and microfiber teabag. Your pillow very likely contains anywhere from four to 16 different species of fungus. You’re sleeping in a goddamn mushroom jungle.

A solid third of respondents in one survey changed their sheets once every two weeks. 37 percent of 18-24-year-olds only did it once a month. Only one third of people said they did it once a week, meaning the vast majority of beds in the world are just sweaty ass wafers waiting to glurge all up on you.


We’re Not Exactly Productive At Our Jobs

I’m not taking the side of the corporations and bosses of the world here — our lack of motivation happens for a reason. I once had a job whose demands were so laughably unreasonable that at some point I switched to actively trying to become the world’s greatest Minesweeper player. The numbers back this up. If you let someone be their own boss, suddenly they’re a dynamo. We work an average of 54 hours per week if allowed to call the shots, versus 37 hours per week when having to grind through a list of meaningless tasks handed off by some cranky shift manager. But holy shit do we take every opportunity to waste those 37 hours.

One study found that for the average worker, 56 minutes per day goes down the toilet thanks to non-work cellphone time, playing on social media, looking at porn, reading this article, etc. Another 42 minutes gets devoted to personal tasks like running errands. Maybe you get a little shopping done, maybe you rub one out in the comfy handicapped stall. Whatever it is, it ain’t work, but you’re on the clock — a thing about which I know nothing, because I never tape a pencil to my dog’s leg and make him run across the keyboard to write my articleshsyyuoooooonajbjbsnd.

So that’s about a full day for each week of work time that’s spent not doing anything in particular. That’s about $15 billion or so in lost productivity, but who’s counting? That’s a drop in the bucket. What kind of bucket? How about a bucket of booze until you get shitfaced and have to call in sick to work? The cost of drunk and hungover workers’ loss of productivity is calculated at about $90 billion a year. How many goddamn Zimas do people need to drink to cost the economy $90 billion? Like 12, at least.

The Washington Post put together a list of all the studies charting such losses and came up with $1.8 trillion in lost productivity every year. Hey, you know who doesn’t slack off for hundreds of hours a year? Robots.


We Make No Effort To Keep Our Information Secure

The sad truth is that most of us don’t even do the zero-effort stuff to keep our information safe — things like downloading software updates when they become available. Average Joes figure that there’s no point, since the update didn’t seem to make the software any better. It was a security update, Joe! They’re probably updating because hackers found a way to use it to steal your credit card numbers!

Meanwhile, 40 percent of cellphones that have been resold by owners (not stolen, just willingly sold) still have personal data on them that people either didn’t know was there or had no idea how to clear. Info like passwords, tax details, names, addresses, and pics of congressional wieners. The kind of stuff you maybe don’t want eBayTaintWrangler001 to have access to.

And in a world in which leaked celebrity nudes make headlines due to cloud storage hacks, more than a quarter of us don’t even set pass codes on our phones. When we do, 38 percent of us share the code with our partner. Oh, and half of those phones have “intimate” photos or texts stored in them — stuff that will be public domain the moment you leave your unsecured phone behind at a party or cafe. If these were Polaroids of our buttholes, we’d keep them at home, in a locked box, under the bed. How often would you just walk around with those in your bare hand at the mall? Almost never. Almost.


We Treat Our Bodies Like Rental Cars

The U.S. fitness industry is worth about $25 billion a year, part of the $60 billion a year we drop on trying to stay in shape, in addition to the $40 billion we’ll spend on organic food, plus the several hundred billion we spend on medications. How’s that workin’ for ya? Less than 3 percent of Americans actually live a healthy lifestyle. Shit.

The Mayo Clinic’s definition of healthy living includes moderate or vigorous exercise for 150 minutes a week, no smoking, and a diet in the top 40 percent of the Healthy Eating Index, which is a robot that crushed the soul out of the Food Pyramid. Across the board, many people excel at one thing or another — tons of people don’t smoke, for instance. But to hit every point is brutal, and only 3 percent are doing it. It doesn’t help that more than half of everything we eat is processed slurm — that easy-to-eat junk accounts for 90 percent of our added (as in, on top of what we need) sugar intake.

Then, when we do get sick, we screw the pooch on trying to fix it. One study shows that about half the people on some kind of serious medication don’t take it correctly. They skip or forget doses, they take the wrong dose, they stop early when they feel better, or they avoid taking the meds for fear of side effects. All of this is the medication version of sticking your dick in a glory hole you found in a gas station wall — maybe it’ll work out for you, or maybe a possum will eat your genitals.

Even simple things seem to escape a lot of us. Only one third of people who use sunscreen actually apply it correctly. It turns out that all of your skin is outside when you go out, so you need to cover all of your skin in sunscreen. But only 42 percent will cover their face, and only 3.6 percent bother to use it on their legs, as if they think they’re walking around on triumphant pillars of naturally cancer-proof meat.


We’re So Lazy About Staying Informed That It’s Ruining The World

Six in ten people will share a link without actually reading the article that accompanies it. Now let me preface this by asking you to please share my article. I need the validation. But also read it, which I guess you did if you got this far. Hello, friend!

Those who do open an article are just as likely to half-ass the reading process by skimming it. Many, many people probably skipped the intro paragraph of this column to hit the first bolded entry, because what could possibly be in the intro? Well I’ll tell you. There was a pretty snappy joke about peeing which probably would have changed your life, but the moment’s passed and if you read it now, it’s barely worth a titter.

This matters, because even actual news can get wildly misrepresented in a headline. If you read just this headline, it’s the story of a congressman threatening to call the police on an innocent woman for daring to expose the truth about him. If you actually read the article, you realize it’s the story of a victim of revenge porn talking about reporting the crime to the police. They’d had a consensual relationship, and she was spreading around his nudes.

Reading for comprehension takes time and energy, and shady people are well aware that we won’t bother. A Stanford study of teens showed that 82 percent of kids can’t tell the difference between news and a sponsored ad article. They just consume what’s given to them and take it at face value, like whoever the hell keeps ordering Filet-o-Fish because they see it on a menu and assume it’s edible. Which is why fake news is both a problem and so easy to toss as an accusation. If no one can tell the difference, then any Tom, Dick, or Presidick can label anything fake news, and people will then believe that. And so on, until all of civilization spirals out of control.

Psssst. Toothbrushes are way more sanitary now, too. Get one with silicone bristles!

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