After we watched an episode of The Twilight Zone, my friend turned to me and said, “Television used to be quite smart. What happened?”
I dunno, I said as I scratched my butt.
Just kidding. We actually had a discussion surrounding this idea of dumbed down American television. I think TV shows have become quite sophisticated but are they necessarily smarter? Or are they evolving in a completely different direction?
Blogging and writing on the web has moved towards quick, easy to absorb, little bites of information. Generally speaking, my list posts are my more popular posts on my expat blog. And this is no coincidence, lists post have become ubiquitous, and the over-utilized tool of bloggers.
But why fear something that gets you readers? Why fear something so common and well, harmless?
Lists post create an easy to skim and scan format. And in this Digital Age, skimming is acceptable and probably even necessary if you want to get anything done. But when we skim, we miss fine writing and sometimes even finer points.
I fear my writing will take a nasty punch to the stomach. Lists give you automatic transitions, so that you never have to write or find a transitional word ever again. Really? Well, maybe. But do I want my writing (aka my thinking) to be reduced to lists?
They’re easy. Yeah, baby. List posts are REAL easy to do, if you know what I mean. (*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*) And folks always say not to “give it up” so easily. Wait a minute…
Whenever you create a list post, you have an insta-title. You don’t have to work anymore! Woo-hoo! More easiness! Your days of trying to figure out a clever succinct eye catching going viral title are over my friends! So far, I have “4 Reasons to Fear Lists Posts” but we know that 4 is an unacceptable number, for some reason…so I have to keep going.
The thing about stretching numbers, creating a viable and acceptable number for a list post is, you often times end up with an EH. You know, you read “10 Reasons Why Your Breath Stinks” or “10 Household Items You Can Use to Scratch Your Back” and the 8th and 9th ones are EH. Inevitably. Indubitably.
I think when something gets this popular (hello Faceybook), you have to put down the binoculars and take a look around, maybe blink a bit too. Question reality, so to speak, or in this case, popularity.
1. Popular does not necessarily equate to superiority/good/quality.
2. Popular kids were usually a-holes (just sayin’).
3. Popular usually appeals to everybody (= lowest common denominator).
4. Popularity breeds more popularity (see above).
5. One day you are popular and the next day you are not (See bloggers watching their blog stats, and has-been celebrities). Yeah, depressing.
List posts are addictive. And that can’t be good, right?