We live in an instant gratification world. People have become accustomed to having absolutely anything they want at nearly a moment’s notice. Need to know who played Ché in The O.C.? It is seconds away on IMDB. (It was Chris Pratt. Doesn’t that just blow your mind?) 55-gallon drum of lube? You can get that shit next day delivery. Possibly today if they can find a drone big enough to carry it. (Picture that in your mind for a minute and tell me that doesn’t make you giggle just a little bit.)
The point is we have become a people with the attention span of an insect and are drawn to the shiniest object we can see. I am a firm believer that this trait has led to the rise of “lists.”
I am an advocate of disconnecting yourself from the internet from time to time. I believe the web makes most people stupid rather than informed, and lists are the worst offenders. (I realize the irony of this by writing for a website solely dedicated to wasting time when you are supposed to be productive, but, whatever. That’s neither here nor there.)
Each item on a list only requires a brief second of your attention. Rarely, if ever, is anything remotely thought-provoking provided to the reader. This is playing right into the dumbing down of society.
Hell, most of the time the “writer” can’t even come up with enough unique items to actually fill out their list.
Tell me if this sounds familiar:
1. I like so and so for whatever stupid fucking reason I have.
2. Like a lot.
3. Like a whole lot.
12. (Just a reference to number one and liking it a lot.)
That’s some pretty groundbreaking stuff right there. Riveting. Inspirational. Truly Pulitzer-worthy. What a fucking hack.
And queue the comments section:
Top comment: “Thank you to the writer. This totally sums up my life.”- Some basic white girl
No it fucking doesn’t. Nearly everyone’s life is a grand, 7-Volume, epic masterpiece and just because it may never be put in print, doesn’t mean the story wasn’t told. Don’t boil your life down to a list because if it can be, you really need to re-evaluate your life.
Next comment: “Number 24 totally blew my mind.”
Did it? Did it really?
Next comment: *Mean shot at the writer by some jaded troll*
Strangely enough, this is my favorite comment even though trolls suck.
Dozens of other comments: *People adding to the list*
Stop. Just stop. It’s bad enough as it is and it cannot be saved.
Bottom comment: Easily offended person would like you know that they are offended and it is not okay to offend anyone no matter how insignificant the offense may be.
This person can go fuck themselves.
I know that these type of columns are going to persist to my great annoyance and dismay. They are going to popup on my Facebook feed and I am going to have to unfollow the person because that is the third list they polluted my internet time with in two days and I just don’t think I want to be associated with that type of person anymore.
(Sorry sister, but 36 Reasons Why Kittens are Better than Puppies was the last straw after 25 Reasons Why the Middle Child is the Best. Both factually incorrect, by the way.)
For whatever reason, people like lists. They pay the bills for the websites that publish them and if the bills aren’t paid, you don’t get to read the really good stuff when a writer puts out a truly unique and inspired column. Still, I challenge these same writers to not be so damned lazy. Don’t just publish a series of crappy one liners. Put some damn effort in and expand on your ideas so someone doesn’t have to write “32 Reason’s Why The Domesticated Redneck’s Hostage Situation Didn’t End Well”.
1. The hostage negotiator gave him a list of options..
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