The Turkey Bacon Problem / by Erin Wade

The Turkey Bacon Problem, or TBP, is the phenomenon that occurs when on makes the mistake of trying to use something to replace something that it is not.

The TBP comes into play when one tries to plug a new, distinctly different item into the same role that a different item once played:

Turkey Bacon in the place of real bacon aside your scrambled eggs; Fat-free sour cream on your baked potato; Boca burgers in place of a Quarter Pounder.

Anyone who has tried these things has had the experience of them paling as they attempt to fill the role of their predecessors - it's just not the same. Honestly - show me a man who says he enjoys fat-free sour cream, and I'll show you a person who is lying to you... And to himself.

The obvious references here are to food, but the TPB shows up in many different walks of life and, I am convinced, is responsible for much of the unhappiness people express on the internet when they try new things, but then evaluate those new things harshly, expecting they will work in exactly the same way as some older version. Common examples might include expecting an e-reader to feel the same as a paper book, expecting to use an iPad in the same way as you would use a laptop or desktop computer, or expecting your favorite band to be the same after they take on a new lead singer.

I've made reference to this multiple times over the years, and my previous iteration of this site had an entry that explained it. That seems to have disappeared, however, so I've added a page to the main navigation of Applied Life so the references continue to work.

Of course you, dear reader, don't need to do anything with that. Instead, I recommend you make yourself some breakfast on this fine Sunday morning. And be sure to put some real bacon beside those fluffy scrambled eggs.