I grow so weary of “6 Things You Need to Know about Blabbity Blah.”
1. When, exactly, did this happen? When did the zeitgeist moment occur that every article and every blog post was required to have a number in the title and a list in the contents? “7 Ways to Tell She’s Cheating On You, “6 Reasons to Get Professional Help,” “5 Tips to Avoid Killing that Slimy Ass-Ho,” “8 Celebrities Who Can’t Stop Cheating,” etc. etc. etc.
Help me out with this, people, cause if I try real hard, I can remember (vaguely) a time before numbers and lists were the thing. I feel like I remember reading stuff in what we called back then, “magazines and newspapers,” that was, you know, just “investigative journalism” plus some expert opinion tied in for a few laughs. Hardly anyone counted anything, so it seems to me, but now that I think back about that, it seems AMAZING. How on earth could we title something now unless we had a list of tips, tricks, or reasons? What the f*ck were we talking about back then? Were we even aware that the earth was round?
2. Like the Dog in “Up,” I, Too, Wear the Cone of Shame. I want to blame y’all for this, but unfortunately, I can’t, because I am totally a co-conspirator. Not only have I written blogs, articles, and titles like this myself, not only have I edited articles/blogs/ for other professionals with titles like, “4 Techniques to Face Your Dating Fears,” but I have also encouraged perfectly naïve and innocent clients, beginning solo entrepreneurs who never would have thought of such trickery and manipulation on their own, to pick up the Numbered List Technique. I know. It’s supergross. I realize this. Mea Culpa. But, you know, the people seem to like it!
That’s the number one reason why I did it. Reason number two: I like my clients to get more attention and make more money, and number three: I am a huge cheesy sell out and I tend to like things other people like.
3. Is it Just Cause We Can’t Remember Stuff Unless it’s In an Acronym or Fewer Than Seven Units? Or Is There a More Sinister Reason? So, I can tell you what the guy who wrote Hardwiring Happiness calls the four essential neurological step to having a more happy life (It’s in an acronym called “HEAL”) and I can tell you what my phone number is (but I’m not going to right now), because it’s 7 “units” of information long, which is apparently as much as we can handle at any one time, according to brain and memory experts.
So that makes me think, Okay, it’s probably no big thing that now every goddamned article/post in the world has a list of tips, most of which are 7 or fewer items long, some of which have acronyms. It’s just because the authors want to help us remember stuff. Unless there’s actually somebody who owns a copyright to all combinations of the phrase “X (number) Y (reasons/tips/signs/ways) to Z (amputate your foot/write a book proposal, etc)? Cause it that person DOES exist, and he or she is a puppet master pulling all the strings, and maybe secretly works for Google who is WATCHING US ALL RIGHT NOW, we might be totally screwed.
4. Is This Going to Spill Over Into the Rest of Life? Shit, son, that moment has also already done come! Last month I received a coy invitation entitled, “6 Reasons to Attend Shelly’s Baby Shower.” I really wanted to send my RSVP with the note: “2 Reasons I Am Attending Shelly’s Baby Shower: 1) I really like Shelly and consider her a friend, and 2) I don’t have anything, like, way better to do that day.”
But I didn’t, because I know it isn’t Shelly’s friend’s fault. She’s just caught up in a storm, man, a storm in which each and every one of us is caught and lost, and I’m pretty sure we’re stuck in here until someone starts creating “5 Ways to Publish Content Without Lists” and leads the revolution.
5. But It Ain’t Going to Be Me, Because:
A) I’m re-watching True Blood, and it’s the second season right now, which is my favorite.
B) I still have to lay out to tan, at least once a week. Tanorexia doesn’t maintain itself, you know. Even when you’re old, like me.
C) I have to decide where I stand on the whole issue of last year’s impulse buy peplum skirt. Is it so 2013? Or can I still get away with it?