There are two types of people in the world: those who can rattle through a complex mathematical problem with ease and those who struggle with basic arithmetic. It goes without saying that math has a rather difficult reputation. After all, it only gets more and more complex as we progress in our education! A lot of us are not fans of questions with letters of the alphabet and elaborate formulas. Despite this, I think it’s safe to say that we’re getting along just fine with the basics!
Well, at least… most of us, anyway. It seems like a lot of people appear to have carried their lack of mathematical skills into real life. And when someone fails to solve a simple arithmetic problem, you can count on the subreddit ‘They Didn’t Do The Math’ to have it on record for all the world to see! The 24.3K member-strong subreddit has been collecting mathematical fails for six and a half years now. And now, we’ve collected 39 of their most hilarious discoveries that’s sure to raise your mood exponentially!
These folks have a funny way of ‘predicting’ the future age of a generation
This subreddit group collects the funniest problem solving fails
You’ve probably scrolled through your Facebook newsfeed only to stumble upon a riddle that’s meant to test your counting skills. These posts typically go along the lines of “When I was six, my sister was half my age. Now that I’m 70, how old is my sister?”. And more often than not, a lot of people will write an incorrect guess that they came up with from the top of their head. Then, as a consequence, those who offer the incorrect answer have to post the riddle on their profile.
These riddles may be amusing, since we get to see who’s good and bad at mathematics in a light-hearted way. But sometimes…those who fail to apply mathematical concepts properly are those who are overly confident that their calculations are correct. Take for example a Twitter user who tweeted about how children born in the year 2000 are now 25 years old!
These problems can be easily resolved with the use of one’s common sense
You might not actually be bad at solving math problems though
Educators are now changing their opinion regarding their learners when it comes to the subject. In the old days, teachers were quick to judge whether their student was good at mathematics or not. This actually led to many people developing math trauma. According to Jennifer Ruef’s essay published on theconversation.com, this condition is “a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics”. People with this certain condition actually feel really anxious or outright dread.
A lot of us bond through sharing anecdotes of how badly we did in school because of this subject. Then there are some who say that their poor mathematical performance hindered them greatly later on in life, as it prevented them from pursuing more higher education and also limited their career options. Ruef listed several possible reasons why we have such negative associations with the subject.
Solving mathematical problems can sometimes induce anxiety and even dread
Part of the reason many adults have anxiety when dealing with mathematics is because they found numbers to be intimidating. And having to solve for the correct sum as fast as they could often left them feeling anxious and frustrated. This is one of the reasons that Ruef pointed out in her essay. She wrote:
“Tying speed with computation debilitates learners. People who struggle to complete a timed test of math facts often experience fear, which shuts down their working memory.”
Remember those flash bang quiz games our teachers did to help us memorize the multiplication table and formulas? Apparently, they didn’t do everyone good! After all, we can all agree that we all have our own pace when it comes to learning and mastering things. And it certainly helps even more when we’re not rushed or pressured in the process! So if you’re currently in the process of teaching your little ones mathematics, you may want to take a more easy-going approach!
You can still get over your phobia of mathematics
If your poor performance in mathematics still bothers you to this day, then it might be a good idea to retake the lessons. Or take note of these brilliant hacks! It might be fun to see that there are a lot of others struggling with solving simple mathematical problems as it makes you feel a little bit better about yourself. But wouldn’t you rather overcome something you used to be so intimidated by? Fortunately, there are tons of resources you can use for this little mission of yours. Most are free, but if you’ve got some extra cash you can spare, then why not sign up with paid mathematical resources like Khan Academy? In this note, Ruef wrote:
“If you recognize that you are a survivor of math trauma, take heart. You are not alone, and there are ways to heal. It starts with understanding that mathematics is broad and beautiful – most of us are much mathematical than we think.”
Well this is embarrassing
You’ll save a whole lot of money when you’re confident in mathematics
These funny folks have forgotten the basic rules of mathematics