The Hand-Squeegee Philosophy

After showering, many people "hand-squeegee" some of the water off themselves before drying off more with a towel. I know this because of reddit's Does Anybody Else? community, where at least 49 people in the last 16 years have asked the universe if anyone else does this too. Responses to the posts alternate between "I thought everyone did this" and "I thought I was the only one!"

It struck me that
1) a lot of what we learn in life comes from mimicking other people, so
2) we're likely to be missing some good tricks for the things we usually do alone

(Of course there are some situations where you see other people shower, but they're relatively rare, and perhaps the hand-squeegeers are more shy about squeegeeing in front of other people.)

At the risk of being one of those writers who makes everything about The Current Moment: it strikes me that, in our current moment, we do more and more of our Things alone.

One example of this is work-from-home. I once realized a (remote) colleague was using a password manager in a very complicated way, causing it to take 30 seconds instead of 3 seconds each time they logged into a website. I only found this out because we were doing a live call while they tried to log into a website, and when that step was taking an implausibly long time I stopped to ask how exactly they were doing it. I was surprised to realise that in most ways I had no idea how my colleagues did their jobs, and that all of us might be missing easy improvements simply because we'd never actually seen anyone else on the team do the work.

So. If you notice there's things you do regularly that you've never seen someone else do, it's worth figuring out (from YouTube, Reddit, or trusted friends) if there's ways to do them better.

Subscribe to Atoms vs Bits

Receive our weekly posts by email