For those of you who maximize the potential of your Internet (the non-Kim Jong-il version), then you should be well aware of the StumbleUpon toolbar. If not, download it… if you dare. If you found this article through StumbleUpon, I assume its 4am where you live, your have milky-eyes from staring at that bright screen in the darkness of your bedroom for the past 3 hours, your tired, your crotch is burning from having your laptop sitting on it, you have work/school the next morning but keep insisting “one more click”. You are chasing that brightly colored dragon to find that one website that is going to make that 3+ hours of stumbling all worth it. Sorry to disappoint you, but I can only assume that this article isn’t going to be that momentous epiphany you are looking for. So on to the next click.

For those who still don’t know what the hell I’m talking about (probably because you still didn’t download it and continued reading this..I applaud you, kind of), StumbleUpon is a toolbar.. NO.. the ONLY toolbar you should ever download. Fuck Google/Yahoo/Microsoft/Bing/Weatherbug etc. They take up valuable viewing real estate when all you need is an address bar, reload button, and Stumble. While I’m on it, I advocate usage of Google Chrome for your Internet viewing sanity. So dad, if you happen to read this, stop using fucking AOL to surf the internet, its not 1996 anymore.

I digress, as usual. What was I talking about? Am I typing out loud again? Shit..

So once you download StumbleUpon, they make you create a profile. This is where the fun begins. They let you choose all of the categories that you are “interested” in. I use this word in quotations because this is where everyone hits their downfall. The reason you are up until 4am is because you pretend to be interested in everything that you aren’t really interested in, therefore Stumble is going to throw you those useless self-motivation websites that you are just going to save to your favorites, falsely thinking you will go back and read it at some point, hoping that some ex-lover/spouse/friend is going to go in there and see that you favorited it and think “wow, he/she is SO deep”. If you don’t want to see useless shit on Stumble, don’t ‘like’ shit you aren’t interested in. Trust me, nobody is going to use your computer to see what interesting things you are stumbling, so get real.

Although I rant about it, I too was one of these people. I thought “oh cool, i’d probably be interested in postmodernism *click* — oh humanitarianism, how noble *click* — comic books, never read them but no time like the present! *click — self-improvement *click*” and it goes on and on and on til you realize, “wow! I have a lot more interests than I originally thought, I’m glad stumbleupon helped me realize this about myself..people are gonna think I’m the shit!” Wrong. This is what leads you to the 4-am heroin chase. You’ll find that amazingly perfect website on the first night–Something that you are actually interested in, say, conspiracy theories… now I can finally go to sleep (or stay up all night with a tin foil hat because you just read the government is listening to your thoughts). The next night you are sucked into a vortex of homebrewing, drug culture, fashion websites, flash games, random wikipedia entries, cigars, guns, quilting, spelunking, camping gear, how to start a fire, how to put out a fire, how to attract a lady, how not to smell bad, how to make your life not suck and this and that and what time is it? Before you know it, you have 2,356 bookmarked pages that, and I guarantee you, you will almost never look at or remember that you saved it.. and if you do remember, good luck finding it.

This is the StumbleUpon addiction. If you didn’t already download it right from the first sentence, and still haven’t, then I may have just saved countless hours of your life (although that means you are still reading this, so mission accomplished on my end).

Like Facebook, college kids first began using StumbleUpon to waste more time while “writing papers”, “studying”, and “going to class”. You’re broke, you’ve beaten Super Mario Bros for the 11,000th time, you’re high/drunk, but you still pay $59.99 a month for Internet…time to utilize that shit. StumbleUpon was also an excellent rehab for drunk Internet surfing. Statistics show that 79% of college students stopped making creepy Facebook comments on pictures of girls they went to high school with, stopped friending every hot girl on Facebook, and online breakups were down 72%. Truly, StumbleUpon saved millions of college students from complete embarrassment the following morning.

While college kids popularized StumbleUpon, it goes without saying that hipsters heard it before anyone else did–back when it was just called “Stumple”. Like a wildfire, StumbleUpon has now spread to over 10,000,000 users, equating to an estimated 87,000,000,000,000 hours of lost productivity worldwide.

Don’t get me wrong.. Stumbling is awesome. If not for Stumble, I would never be able to find a synonym for any word, insult someone in a Shakespearean manner, how to infuse vodka into gummy bears, or pretend that I’m interested in photography.

So in conclusion, while Stumble is a great time wasting device, a great way to find websites you are actually interested in, and a great way to look busy at work, it accounts for countless wasted hours. It is, however, a necessary evil. As the great American entertainer Will Rogers once said: “There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and StumbleUpon”. As true today as it was a hundred years ago. So Stumble wisely my friends. Don’t be pretentious about it, and you will cherish your Stumbling experience.


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