When I was a kid, Thanksgiving usually involved my family going to a restaurant staffed by grumpy, third-tier waitstaff sighing plates onto the table while my grandfather sat me down and told me everything that was wrong with me.
But no matter who you spend the holiday with, if you’re crying or laughing or eating or drinking or smoking or whining or freaking or footballing, you’ll probably be compelled at some point to gather your gratitude. Fear not: It’s still OK to reflect on the things that piss you off.
In that vein, I bring you five things on the Internet for which I’m not at all grateful.
Articles that are really just lists. (Yes, you, Buzzfeed.) Winning compilations such as “19 Angry Grandmas!” and “12 Best Beards!” and “7 Pugs a’Leaping!”
I remember when I was in seventh grade, we had to write a term paper. It started with an outline. Oh, how I hated stuffing my utter brilliance into all those IIIs, (a)s and (iii)s! To dryly quantify them so! But I learned it, and I did it. If I had to do it, so should you. What happened to structuring an actual article? Why is all content turning into a laundry list of cat photos? (And this is coming from someone who takes a lot of cat photos.) It’s lazy and phoned-in.
Yes, I know it’s what the youngs are doing because no teenager wants to be on Facebook anymore since it’s all middle-aged people posting catalogs of their breastfeeding malfunctions, but just like most statuses on Facebook are boring, so are most photos. A cameraphone does not a photographer make. The Internet might give you access to things, but it doesn’t make you good at them. (See also: Bitstrips.)
Here’s an idea: Maybe you stop collecting the junk online that inspires you and get off your ass and actually do something with it.
4) Cyber Monday
Nothing has been called cyber-anything since Sandra Bullock starred in The Net. Can we please get a new name?
Do I really want to see your ‘80’s hair or your ‘70s shag carpet? No, no I don’t. There is a reason I wasn’t friends with you then. The only time I want to see your prom photo on Facebook is when you post it because that’s what you found in your filing cabinet under “tax information.”
You know what’s the original Throwback Thursday? Thanksgiving. Why do we do what we do on Thanksgiving? Does anyone really know? The way the holiday's origin story has been told and retold so many ways over the past several centuries that it’s become like a game of telephone. Genocidal telephone.
In closing, I am thankful for something: The foresight to take the Thanksgiving turkey by its wattle and make it over into a holiday that celebrates the family I’ve chosen versus the one I’ve been assigned.
While I’d like to think I’m the one who started Friendsgiving before it became a quantifiable portmanteau, I’m certainly not the only one who opts in to it, though, as you can read all over the Internet. I’ll be spending it with a smoked turkey, the world’s best gluten-free cornbread stuffing, and an approximate shit-ton of wine with good friends who (thank God) are unlikely to bring up TED talks.
May you bond with the people you love over the things you hate.
Carin Moonin is a writer living in Portland, Ore. Sometimes she'll even tweet about things she hates at @carinwrites.