5 Things That Only People Who Read Lists on the Internet Will Understand
Admit it, you click and read through two or three of these lists every day. I do. They pop up on Facebook and they look so darn interesting that you just have to see the things that only people from Your State or Your City will understand. So let's see if there are 5 things that only people like us who click on these lists will totally get.
1 - You Are a Listicle Aficionado
Yes, these things have a name. You're reading a listicle, a portmanteau of list and article. Use that at your next party. For example, someone says to you, "Did you see that intense New Yorker article about rampant corruption in the penal system?"
And you can reply, "No, but I did click on a listicle about the best pizzas in every state. Now where's that guy walking about with the little tray of cheese cubes?"
2 - These Lists are Usually Completely Arbitrary
No one commissioned a Gallop poll to find the 5 Most Perky Baristas in Brooklyn. The author went on personal knowledge and her own opinion or just asked around to come up with 5 names.
So don't feel bad that your favorite whatever didn't make a list. It may have even been left off on purpose so you'd share the list with your friends to point out the injustice.
3 - Items on These Lists Can Be Applied Very Broadly
I've lived in several states in the upper tier of the county, so I've seen quite a few lists like Things People from New York...Michigan...Illinois Have to Explain To Others. Guess what? You'll find many of the same items on each list, like oh for instance, "You have to use your heat in the morning and the air conditioning in the afternoon." That's a classic, and it can be applied to every state north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
4 - There are a Few Clunkers in Every List
I'll be honest with you, I only had 4 ideas for this list. But 5 is a much nicer round number and sounds better in the headline, so here's a fluff item to pad the article.
5 - You Clicking On and Sharing This List was Predetermined For You
The people, like me, who craft these lists use little tricks called clickbait to entice you to read a story when you see the headline in your Facebook feed. It gives you just enough to be curious to click through. For example, the article on the front page of Thrillist as I type this is "11 Los Angeles Secrets You Didn't Know Existed." I've only been to LA once, and it was as a child. I have no connection to the city whatsoever, but now I feel so compelled to click because I need to know about that secret menu at In-N-Out Burger.
Ever see a line like this on a Facebook post with a listicle included? Number 5 Is So True or Number 5 Will Have You Nodding Your Head in Agreement. That'll get you to click every time.
This clickbaiting reminds me of a scene from The Devil Wears Prada (one of my favorite movies - not ashamed to say), where Andy chuckles as the fashionistas are trying to decide between two nearly identical belts and Miranda completely deconstructs Andy's outfit (it's not blue, it's cerulean) and says her choices where already selected for her, just like some of your online clicking choices have been predetermined for you by those of us crafting these clickbaity articles.
BONUS: There Will Be At Least One More List For You To Click On In the Article
Since I've got you here, why don't you read another list. I know just the one-