Ok so this post really isn’t going to have 7 reasons to boycott the listicle, however I will talk about how and why the listicle is so popular. If you ask me, listicles are pure linkbait, and we should boycott them because, simply, they really do not contain any useful content. I would class the listicle as the reality programming of the internet. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Have you ever actually learned anything from a listicle? I mean, seriously, have you ever actually lost weight by reading “8 Awesome Tips To A Flat Belly” , or built a successful business using “15 Essentials You Need To Know To Build Your Billion Dollar Business”, or even found your true love after reading “3 Way To Find Your Lover, Best Friend & Soulmate” No, I bet you haven’t.
Why are these thing so popular, attractive and sharable? Not a day goes by when someone I know throws one of these onto my Facebook stream, or shows up in my news feed. Is this what journalism has descended to? No wonder no one reads the news anymore.
They really are little bon-mots of useless information.
The reason these are so attractive is that people are lazy. We are always looking for a short cut, a way out, some tip or trick so that we can just get to the result without all that hard work. When we read those headlines, which promise so much for so little, our interest is piqued, we need to know how to “Become A Millionaire In 6 Months Using These 8 Steps”
The reality is that none of these “tips” or “tricks” or “ways” are really a substitute for pure hard work and persistence.
But then we read the listicle, and we we may agree with it, enough to share it. We may be disappointed enough to not share it, and just shake our heads. But if you think about it, is there really any useful information in a listicle? Have you ever said, now that I know the “7 Secrets To A Happy Marriage” will I apply those to my life? Likely not.
You see, even though we are eager to read the quick tip, we never seem to really get anything out of it, and are usually disappointed by it. But, for some reason, we forget that when we are sucked in by the next one.
So I say, lets all boycott listicles in favor of the good stuff, the real stuff. Maybe then we might get some REAL USEFUL CONTENT.
photo credit – Jeremy Tarling – flickr