It’s everywhere – hack your metabolism, hack your memory, hack your lifestyle, hack your health, hack your finances, hack your kids, hack your clothes, hack your job, even hack your sexlife. It makes me want to scream “what the HACK!” (and of course there’s a hack for that too)!
But the one that really gets me going, the ‘hack’ that drives me absolutely bugnutty, batshit crazy is the ‘hack’ your brain (mind or nervous system)….
By modern definition, a hack is “a piece of computer code providing a quick or inelegant solution to a particular problem”. The verb hack means “to gain unauthorised access to data in a system or computer.” Hacking your brain then, suggests some sneaky ‘work-around’ or quick and dirty fix – some tricksy way of accessing some mysterious code or data in your brain that is otherwise off limits. Using ‘hack’ also perpetuates the denigrating notions of brains (and people) as being computers with ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ – simplistic metaphors for dumb machines that can be tricked, tinkered with, or fixed with a hastily slapped together ‘mod’.
And I’m not the only one who thinks ‘hack’ is overused – each year since 1975 Lake Superior State University in Michigan has published a list of buzz words that need to be banished. In 2014 selfie and twerking made the list of words to go, and in 2015 hack was on that list, along with other verbal abominations such as Foodie, Cra-Cra and Skill Set.
Brains (and the people they belong to of course) are too complex – too magnificent – to ‘hack’, and if we are being honest, we don’t really know how the brain actually works, so how on earth could we hack it? So, I say let’s tell hack to hack off, get hacked or even go hack itself…
Who’s coming with me…?