I’ve been using Digg.com all wrong

diggI love Digg.com. I go there several times a day, to keep up with the most essential news and some things that slip through the cracks of the otherwise lame-stream media outlets.

But I’ve noticed some patterns in the site. In fact, I’ve noticed so many patterns that I’ve come to think that I’ve been using Digg all wrong.

Here’s what I should be using it for…

1. Counterfactuals
Perhaps the best articles on Digg are the ones that take the impossible and unserious and make them less so. What if you could walk on the sun? What would you do with a third arm? What if we had Kosher pepper?

Why has no one thought of this before?! It could change everything, except that it probably won’t.

2. Counterpracticals
If counterfactuals are fun and indulgent, “counterpracticals” are frustrating because they give insight into our collective idiocy.

You know that thing you’ve been using your whole life, well, you’ve been using it wrong. You’ve been eating your food with utensils? You’ve been driving your car on paved roads? You’ve been using dental floss on your teeth? No, no, and no. All of that is wrong!

It might seem counterintuitive at first, but when you think about it, it sort of makes some sense. Utensils are not for eating? No wait, it makes a lot of sense! It’s so obvious. Of course I should be driving only on dirt roads. If you had stopped long enough to think about it, you probably would have come up with it yourself. Dental floss does function rather well as an alarm clock.

I’m going to start doing everything from the right way from now and being more deliberate about my culinary, automotive, and health and beauty choices.

3. The imminently obvious
Here’s a fresh take on something you’ve seen all the time. Why do pigeons eat the crumbs that you throw at them? Why do we take our clothes off to have sex?

Or sometimes we might take one thing that you know really well and mash it up with something else that you know really well to offer you something totally new and shocking but nevertheless probably pointless to your ordinary life. How would your computer function under water? What if Red Vines tasted like Scandinavian coffee?

The fact that this new information is hardly new and will not stop you from posting it to your Facebook page and sharing it with your friends.

Speaking of…

4. Apple, Google, and Facebook are doing something really cool but very lame
The new iPhone is a revolutionary disappointment. Sure, it can read your mind, but it makes your mind sound like Siri. Google’s new social media feature can make you orgasm—but only once. And Facebook is still Facebook, but now your grandmother is there.

5. People doing things
Some people that you’ve never heard of are doing really amazing and interesting things that will make you feel dull and unproductive. Meet the guy the who donates all of his free time to washing dogs. This woman who won’t sleep till she cures cancer.

Then there are similar but opposite stories of people doing weird and pointless things to make you feel normal. This couple collects phonebooks.

6. A less-than-satisfactory question to an age-old and pressing question
Why are your ears shaped the way they are? Why do bunnies screw like bunnies? Why do we need gravity? You’d have to read it to believe it, except that there’s nothing really new here.

7. Something about New York City
There plenty about New York to love and to hate, so here’s something to remind you of one of them. Probably it’s trivial, but it’s about New York, which makes it important. Look at this manhole cover on 14th Street! (Note: And by “New York City,” we mean Manhattan and certain parts of Brooklyn.)

There are also stories about somewhere other than New York written by someone who can’t help but compare it to New York. Here’s a building that’s not as tall as the Empire State Building. Here’s a park that’s not Central.

8. The inside story of something you probably couldn’t care less about
Oh, we’ve got the scoop! It might be a little of out date, but we have everything you’ve ever wanted to know about what went on with that thing that you’ve almost forgotten completely about. Remember the Steely Dan episode of Behind the Music on VH-1? We’ve got the behind the scenes story of how it came to be.

9. Lists!
Here’s a list of 3, 5, or even 10 things that we like or don’t like in some random category. Haven’t you ever wondered where the fastest/slowest/Willy Wonkiest elevators are in the world? We have that. How about the best coffee spots in Arkadelphia, Arkansas? The 5 reasons people love lists? Check and check.

Digg.com, I can’t quit you.