Depending on your perspective, lifehacks are either the lifeblood of simple living or a goofy punchline of DIY culture. What's undeniable is the money that's to be made from society's hunger for easy how-tos.
Tim Engle of the Kansas City Star has a neat piece up right now about lifehacks. No, he’s not writing to offer you MacGyver-esque advice for how to use a paperclip to organize your charging cables, or anything like that. Instead, Engle is examining lifehacks as a form, a genre, an industry in and of itself:
“They’re all over the internet — often illustrated, often on video — and they can be as specific as whatever your crisis of the day happens to be. Travel hacks. Marriage hacks. Makeup hacks. Cooking hacks. Cleaning hacks. Pet care hacks. Cheese hacks. Whether you call them hacks or not, they’re clearly a phenomenon.”
Engle details two new television programs: Hacking the System on National Geographic and Hack My Life on TruTV. You’ve of course got websites like Lifehacker, advice columns with emphases on lifehacks (Engle notes that these used to be called “household hints”), and plenty of other forms of literature. Engle more or less posits that the appeal of lifehacks stems from a societal shift toward thriftiness and a pursuit of low-budget solutions to normal household problems. The rapid growth of social media also lends itself to the spread of personal household tricks.
Check out the full piece linked below for more about the lifehack as a commodity.