5 Awesome Things We Keep Ruining Over And Over And Over

We're never satisfied with something being "good." Whether it's due to the restlessness of the human spirit, our desire to keep up with the neighbors, or basic stupidity, we're constantly trying to improve the things around us. And, often as not, fucking it up entirely.

For instance ...

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5
Basically Anything Facebook Or Twitter Does To Their Site

Just about every damned time Twitter or Facebook (or nearly every other social media site) tries to improve their sites, they seem to make it worse.

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"WHY FACEBOOK, WHY?"

Facebook has a whole bunch of different ways to pull this off; nearly every new feature they add seems to have some disastrous side-effect. They can tweak the way ads display and completely ruin the way their privacy settings work. They can add an "On This Day" feature to helpfully remind you of devastating breakups or deaths in the family. They can secretly toy with your emotions for no particular reason. And they can ruin the very concept of truth, plunging our world into a thousand years of darkness.

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Facebook: HEY, REMEMBER THIS DAY, THE LAST OF ALL DAYS?
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Twitter is a little lower stakes, but its fans are even more rabid about new changes. It was nearly unusable for day or two after they changed their stars to hearts. Their first attempt to thread conversations with blue lines was widely hated. And they keep trying to mess with the chronology of their users' timelines, much to everyone's dismay. Now, if you're not a Twitter user, a lot of this might sound trivial to you. And it is! A big part of this is just hilarious overreaction, which is something Twitter is amazing for.

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Shrill overreaction is basically Twitter's core feature.

But another, larger issue is that it often seems like the people making decisions about Twitter don't actually use it themselves.

Funnily enough, there's a reason for that.

4
Modifying Our Cars

Cars are full of greasy parts that greasy people love wiggling and banging on with hammers. Engines can be made more powerful, suspensions can be lowered, and huge fuck-off spoilers can be mounted in huge fuck-off positions, all with an eye towards improving a car's performance or appearance.

It usually doesn't work out so good though.

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Handles a little worse than a shopping cart now.

Let's start with the most defensible of modifications. Engines can absolutely be made more powerful; there are a huge variety of simple and complicated modifications which can manage that. But power is only one of the things we ask an engine to provide. "Lasting for longer than three years" is another one. Or running without making a horrific whining sound. Or having a weird hesitation below 2000 RPM. There are countless ways engine mods only sort of do what they're supposed to, and many of them require endless amounts of fussing to keep running. For some people that's fun; it's the fussing about that they were actually interested in in the first place.

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It's like a child that doesn't talk back as much and also costs a little less.

But endless amounts of fussing isn't what everyone's after, and certainly not how these upgrades are marketed.

Suspension modifications are even worse. From the factory, a car's suspension has been designed by a team of people with huge, oversized heads to deliver a particular blend of handling and comfort. Yes, it is theoretically possible to adjust that balance, making a car stiffer for better handling, or taller for better access to drive-thru windows, or whatever. But unless you have your own team of people with huge, oversized heads, you are far more likely to ruin both the handling and comfort of your vehicle.

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See, this one is probably a little too stiff and upside-down.

And even if you make the most tasteful, well-thought-out modifications possible, no one's going to like them but you. On the resale market, untouched cars are far more desirable than modified ones. Part of this is buyers simply not wanting to deal with the endless fussing that comes with car mods. And for the ones that do, they don't want to paint on someone else's canvas.

3
Adding A New Character To A Show

Television shows don't get very long to prove themselves. 65 percent of them will get cancelled their first season, many of those before the season even finishes.

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Chunt And McGregor, Twin Calf P.I.s was never even given a chance to find its voice.

One of the side effects of that is that the only shows that hang around are actually pretty good ones, which right from the very start have a style, tone, and mix of characters that audiences find appealing. So appealing that there are very limited ways to improve upon the formula. Any attempt to change or add something to the show risks upsetting whatever balance was appea ...

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Oh, hey there, Scrappy, we'll get to you in a moment.

... ling in the first place.

This can sometimes work out. Frasier on Cheers, Frank on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and Erin on The Office were all successful additions. But adding a new character is a huge roll of the dice, capable of crippling a successful show. Whether it's The Great Gazoo from The Flintstones, or Seven from Married With Children, or Dawn from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, new characters have a long track record of becoming hated by fans and even turning them off the show entirely. It's a wonder producers ever even try.

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I guess when it does come off, you're rolling in fat Elmo money though.

2
Adding A Pool To A House

Pools are a standard feature of wealthy homes, a totem of class and luxury everywhere in the world. Having your own pool is a sure sign that you have made it, that you finally got what you deserved, just as the people you walked over along the way deserve the shallow graves in which they now lie.

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This woman has crushed more people than you have ever met.

Unfortunately, adding a pool to a house is often a huge, costly mistake. First there's the massive up-front cost to build one. Then there's the massive amount of maintenance and chemicals and shirtless, well-muscled boys they need to keep clean. And finally, they need to be insured, because you're probably going to lose two or three kids in there each year.

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Also there's the swarms by migratory birds you'll have to contend with.

You need to use a pool an awful lot to make up for that much hassle. And sure, some people do use their pools that much, splashing enthusiasts and Olympians and whatnot. But even they had better hope that the next person who buys their house wants that hassle. Pools are notorious for turning away buyers, which in some neighborhoods will hurt your resale value. Honestly, what you probably want more than a pool is a friend with a pool.

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Or at least a friend with some shirtless, well-muscled boys.

1
Updating Software

You probably aren't doing anything new with your phone that you weren't doing three years ago. Texts and maps and selfies of you writhing on a bear-skin rug; the typical use-cases for a smartphone have been locked down for awhile now. And yet for some reason, the $600 phone you bought three years ago is way less capable at actually doing any of it.

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We wouldn't tolerate a $30 toaster pulling this bullshit.

This isn't even a question of comparing an old phone to a new one; our phones simply aren't as fast as they were when they were new. There's no physical reason for this; no dust or rust or bird droppings getting in there and jamming up the gears. No, the culprit is primarily OS and software updates. All these new software updates add new features and increased stability and improved security, yes, but they also tend to slow a system down with time.

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Ruining the efficiency of your erotic selfie game.

The problem is all this new software is developed and tested on relatively new hardware. And once things run about right for the people making it, boom, they're done, ship it. Sure, they might do a little bit of testing on older hardware, but it often isn't taken that seriously. There's just an expectation that all their customers will be using fairly new hardware, an expectation which ultimately becomes self-fulfilling.

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This will happen to just about any kind of computer hardware, but it becomes a real annoyance with systems with "forced" upgrades, that will stop working entirely if you don't run the latest software. Systems like smartphones. It's almost like they're deliberately sabotaging their own products to coax us into buying another.

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But we'd never fall for that.


Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and promises to never upgrade or improve himself in any way. As the author of the amazing novels, Freeze/Thaw and Severance he thinks you should definitely go buy both of those now. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.

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For more check out 13 Mind-Numbingly Stupid 'Improvements' To Products and The 9 Most Terrifying Attempts to Improve Popular Foods.

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