Much like taking the garbage out, calling to see if your grandparents have died yet, or changing your sheets once they’ve become more stain and DNA samples than actual fabric, clearing your Internet history is simply something that needs to be done every month. Of course the government can still sift through terabytes on terabytes of bizzarely-specific fetish porn before concluding that you’re not a terrorist, but a just a dude with a unmatched enthusiasms for masturbating only interested in destroying is box after box of Kleenex. However, with the option to clear your history, you can effectively dump your baggage and not be reminded of your less-than-productive hobby every time you type in a URL.
Clearing your history wipes the slate clean; it’s like joining the French Foreign Legion under an assumed identity to escape the consequences of your crippling debt from an addiction to huffing expensive glues and your spree of drunk-driving arrests. It’s an exciting time to be starting over — just think of how giddy a thirty-five-year-old guy is when he finally decides to abandon his family and gets in the car and just drives. Think of a New Year’s resolutions, except instead of changing yourself for the better you’re just going to repress all the horribly disgusting parts of your past.
Your browser history is essentially a list of boring, depressingly revolting stories that you would never tell anyone. These aren’t the “Oh yeah, Mom, I totally used to get high in the attic when I was in high school” kinds of stories that are comical anecdotes to relay when you’re thirty. No, these are generally the “My Sunday was spent furiously bidding on Garbage Pail Kids cards on eBay while perpetually checking to see if my Facebook status was liked before a few fat jerk-off sessions to Latina MILFs on webcams before finally checking WebMD to see if I have carpal tunnel in my right hand” kinds of stories that you never tell and, frankly, you hope to forget as soon as possible. Yes, this is the side of ourselves that we know exists and we never want to publically admit, either on our own accord or by someone else using your computer and inadvertently drawing their own conclusions.
A general avoidance of potential arguments and awkward conversations is another reason for clearing your history. Inevitably, someone other than you is going to use your computer to search for something innocent like “Parks and Recreation” and, three letters into their query, up pops “Parking Garage Quick Lube Latina Sex Team Parts 1-14.” Hopefully, this situation only happens to a roommate with similar tastes who can take it in stride and not your elderly, evangelical aunt with a weak heart and a proclivity for stress seizures who was only trying to look up the hours the local park is open.
If the person starts to discuss it, well, you’re in a quandary. They’re likely going to have questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes, no, or by abruptly falling asleep. Do you lead them down this depraved rabbit hole of buying pudding in bulk off of Amazon, trying to search for Tom Arnold’s phone number, and angrily written tirades on message boards for The Sims in the hopes that they’ll be too sad to ever want to discuss it again? Conversely, do you just deny and feign alarm that this must all just be from a virus, a roommate who’s into weird stuff, or a good ol’ fashioned cyber bully? Or, do you just take an alternate route and completely change the discussion point by stating, “I don’t discriminate; I’m no bigot. It would have been racist and elitist of me NOT to click through and watch those Latinas bang that dude in that parking garage stairwell.” The choice is up to you, but, really, you should just try to avoid it all together if possible. This isn’t like Alcoholics Anonymous—you don’t get a chip for going the longest without clearing your history.
Jesus saves, but you better clear; remember, Jesus wasn’t into that costumed-bukakke-fiesta shit that you j/o to.
Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan. Look for more of his writing, his BroBible.com archive (which is under construction), and his updates at www.justingawel.com or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.