I often wonder what normal human beings do on the internet. Like, if you’re reading the Daily Dot, you probably know who Pepe the Frog is, and may even be bummed that Pepe has gone from 4chan icon to generalized Twitter meme for entry-level teens and, like, Jimmy Johns. You and I have spent most of our lives laughing at the hyper-contextualized jokes and gimmicks that float through all the wonderful coteries in cyberspace. But that’s so not the majority. My grandpa had a Facebook page. How did he spend his online leisure time?
There are a lot of answers here, as anyone who has spent the previous two years sifting through bad Minions memes knows. But I’m going to illuminate one YouTube trend that’s about as bizarre and mind-boggling as it is ostensibly normal: grocery hauls.
You know what’s boring as hell? Buying groceries. You know what’s even more boring than that? People talking about their kids. Somehow grocery hauls combine these activities for a sort of bottomless banality. There’s a community of usually white, usually middle-class women showing off what they bought from, like, Whole Foods. Seriously, that’s all it is.
“I got a pound of tri-tip here, I think that’s going into the crockpot, some squash here which is going to go great with the spaghetti sauce,” etc. Again, there’s no gimmick here. I wish there were, because it would make the whole thing more comprehensible. But nah, welcome to the Mom Internet.
Yeah, I have no idea either. My favorite bits are the little anecdotes they offer about their kids, which are just the worst kind of new-wave, self-involved, borderline nonsensical parenting dissuasions ever: “Jenny and Michael are both gluten-intolerant and have high sensitivity to capsaicin, so we make sure to buy the smoothest cashew butter.” If you’re as jaded as me, it will make you go insane.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with grocery hauls. I have watched a YouTube video of a man opening up a Beastie Boys box set, so I certainly can’t judge. But there’s a community centered on watching ordinary people go through their groceries? Trite, everyday, unspectacular groceries? Onions, string cheese, different kinds of apples?
I guess my Internet will always be different from everyone else’s, but they’ll always be equally bizarre.