When we spend so much of our time online, we’re bound to learn something while clicking and scrolling. Discover something new with Mashable’s series
Alleged “hacks” for “life” born on the web have been known to — at best — be simply useless. At worst, they risk getting the “life hacker” killed or injured. Yet the old gal (by which we mean the entirety of the online human population) still has some new tricks to teach us.
Inevitably, when you gather all of modern human knowledge onto several communication platforms like social media, you’re bound to discover some mind-blowing revelations. With TikTok in particular, folks are having the humbling experience of learning they’ve been doing even the most mundane everyday things completely wrong.
We don’t blame you if these 11 examples make you feel like you’ve been lied to all your life. But let’s just take a deep breath and remember that we don’t get manuals on How to Life. At least, we didn’t before the internet was around to show us what a bunch of idiots we were.
1. Starbucks Frappuccinos
OK, when Starbucks described their take-home frappuccinos as “chilled” drinks, we did not know they actually meant literally frozen. In retrospect, the above reveal from a #TikTokMadeMeDoIt experiment makes sense. I mean, frapps are usually served with the consistency of icy slush rather than cooled vanilla coffee milk.
2. Hammering nails
I was today years old when I learned that human society has learned to improve on the design of hammers so you don’t have to risk life and limb every time you use them. I blame not knowing this one on literally every depiction of a nail being hammered that’s ever been shown in film, TV, and home improvement videos. How will I ever learn to trust again?
Garlic remains one of the most “hacked” items on the planet, with entire Youtube videos dedicated to demonstrating different methods. But this one, retweeted by Chrissy Tiegen, takes the crown for most popular.
Despite what the poster says, the above video is honestly one of the least nasty examples of “laundry stripping” (which uses the power of Borax and baking soda) I’ve seen on TikTok. This TikToker at least cleans her couch cushion covers twice a month, which is more than I can say for myself and many others who bought their couches used.
This is the one hack I remain scared to try, though. I’d rather live in the blissful ignorance of doing it wrong rather than face the dirty bath water reality of doing it right.
5. Curly hair
To be fair, the hair-drying method known as “plopping” (basically just carefully wrapping your soaking wet hair in a T-shirt or a microfiber towel) has been well-established in the curly hair community for years. But TikTok gets credit for turning this more niche expert knowledge into a full-on viral trend. By spreading the trick for effortless locks, it changed the lives of many folks who went their whole lives never realizing they even had curly hair in the first place.
Welcome to the club, newbies! Have you tried the aloe vera trick yet?
6. Can openers
Move over Bean Dad, because you were actually “teaching” (or, more accurately, “smugly tormenting”) your daughter into learning the wrong way of opening that damn can of beans anyway. You’re actually supposed to fix it to the top of the can (as Bean Dad’s daughter first attempted), rather than sideways as the rest of us plebs have been doing (Bean Dad included). So for those keeping score that’s: Bean Daughter 1, Bean Dad 0.
Aside from just using it wrong, there’s a whole host of other uses for can openers that can save you a lot of hassle — like opening that impossible plastic clamshell-type packaging that’s the bane of all existence.
7. Peeling stuff
As Mashable associate animator Elvie Mae Parian described, “I think one of the biggest most life-changing things that I learned [on the internet] is how you can peel ginger with a spoon.”
Indeed, peelers are yet another thing we’ve been royally screwing up in terms of proper use, with this one TikToker discovering that you can use them in both directions rather than just the downward motion.
8. Strainers (or “colanders”)
This one feels like a betrayal. How the hell have I, a grown-ass woman, gone my entire life believing the lie of dumping my pasta into a strainer?
9. Group texts
This account has all sorts of neat Apple tricks and tips worth checking out, like the secret shortcut to an emoji keyboard on your Mac or a more secure way to chat by using the Notes app. But the above reply-button tip from the iOS 14 update feels like a real game-changer for group chats, which are notorious for becoming unruly nightmares real fast.
Let’s be real: As great as they are, cupcakes come with some major design flaws. Putting all the filling on top makes for a very cute aesthetic. But it also renders taking a bite with the perfect filling-to-cake ratio impossible. Admittedly, the cupcake sandwich method looks a lot more monstrous. But your taste buds will thank you.
11. Pizza boxes
Here’s to realizing those dotted lines on your pizza box actually have a purpose. Whichever engineer is responsible for this stroke of genius, our over-stuffed fridges thank you.
12. Blow pops
This probably would’ve been more useful to know a decade ago, but it’s never too late to take advantage of being able to suck on a blow pop 30 seconds faster.