Geek to live, we’ve always said at Lifehacker. Don’t live to geek. That means you shouldn’t let your “life hacking” get in the way of your actual life. And the DiWHY subreddit shows you why. These hacks should not exist. They’re more ugly, wasteful, useless or time-consuming than whatever normal product or method they replace. And they’re fun as hell to look at.
Some bad hacks solve a problem no one has. One top submission, a DIY soft drink dispenser shown above, looks kind of cool at first. But it’s just a Rube Goldberg machine for sucking soft drink out of 1L bottles.
Building it involves soldering, drilling, slicing, and sourcing specific materials such as plastic tubing. If you get every step right, you still have a cardboard machine that will deteriorate after a party or two. Why not pour the soft drink out of the damn bottle?
Other hacks technically work, but they’re so ugly that no one would bother.
Why would you ever turn a pair of underwear into a crop top? Either they’re used underwear, which is gross, or they’re new, and you should buy a crop top instead.
Why would you build a gross-looking salt shaker out of the top of a soft drink bottle? Salt shakers are, like, a dollar. As Twitter user Rosé Princess once said about a terrible DIY project, “White people want to be poor so bad.”
Other hacks are just the dumbest kind of lateral thinking. Make your own ice cream bowl by slicing a tub of Ben & Jerry’s down the middle. Or, as someone pointed out on Tumblr, “YOU COULD JUST TAKE OFF THE FUCKING LID.”
And some hacks defy all comprehension and can only be appreciated as avant garde art. Watch this video of an elaborate cigarette dispenser built, for no reason, out of a bottle of Coke. (The video comes from LHack TV, home of many more baffling Coke hacks.)
Or look at this tray made of concrete supported by a wine glass. Don’t look too hard or it’ll break.
In the pursuit of life hacks, one can be consumed by a madness. The whole world becomes both hammer and nail. Is a power cord a jump rope? Is a sponge a pincushion? With enough time, effort, and visits to the craft store, can anything become anything?
It’s hard to tell which hacks are good-faith attempts by people who didn’t think out their ideas, which ones are cynical plays by content mills, and which are performance art or parodies. After all, there’s a whole art form called chindogu that celebrates pointless inventions.
The pizza box briefcase has to be a goof, right? Whoever turned a riding mower into a motorcycle is obviously kidding. And this collection of increasingly stupid hacks cannot possibly be serious, but a lot of the Reddit commenters seem to take it at face value. Some even debate the merits of a few of the hacks.
So be careful. Looking at these can so unmoor you from reality that you start to think, “Wait a minute, that just might work!” It does not. Close the window, walk away, and use a household object for its stated function.