List articles – or ‘listicles‘ as they are sometimes known – seem to have taken over the internet entirely. They’ve always been a big thing, having morphed over from the world of magazines. But I’m done with them. Here’s why – presented, of course, as a handy list:
1. The glibness
List articles always seem to be written in a hurry, with little or no real content. Shallow, top of the head thinking hurled onto pixels with barely a second thought.
2. The clickbaityness (that is *so* a real word)
People write list articles because they know folks click through to them from social media links etc. That’s the reason. No other. Sure, it means they’re popular. But so is Justin Bieber and American Idol and Strictly Come Dancing. So there’s that.
3. The hectoring
It’s the bloggers curse – the irresistible urge to adopt the ‘authority’ tone of voice, the ‘I know best, listen to me’ attitude – as if they are addressing a wayward child who really needs to listen up and take notice now because they’re doing everything wrong. They set themselves up as the teacher dispensing wisdom to all and sundry. Most don’t have the credentials, or the experience, or anything much to show why they think their opinion is so all important. Which is probably why they do it.
4. The self-righteous, sanctimonious smugness
For more details, see item 3.
5. The irrelevance
Seems like the writer always picks a number first, never quite thinks up enough items, so has to add one that’s just filler. Does that happen a lot? It seems to.
6. The Biblical thing
There were ten commandments. Why not eleven, or seven, or 97? Not sure if anyone knows, except the person who wrote them, and She’s not telling. But the idea caught on and to this day list article writers sure do seem to want to lay down the law and put you straight about a few things.
7. The repetition and redundancy
I don’t think I need to explain this, do I?