Top 10 Reasons Listicles Suck
1. They ruin jobs for actual writers
I’ve been writing for a local magazine for quite a while now and the only thing they, or anyone else for that matter, want to see from a freelancer is a bunch of places or things listed out with a little detail. There’s no room for interesting writing anymore.
2. They are super click-baity
That’s how they live, they feed off of people’s curiosity.
3. They aren’t actually informative
Look, here’s a bunch of places I may or may not have tried and why you should try it. No actual information on prices or specific food/product items. Just a name, a stock photo, and a line or two of flavor text.
4. They are exacerbating America’s reading problem
People hate reading, which makes it hard when your passion is writing. My own family hasn’t read my first book, let alone any friends. Lists are coddling people, making it okay to not want to read.
5. They are forcing out good writers
Those of us who want something more challenging have to fight and grind our way into the field and even then we’re still writing these damn lists. Doesn’t matter how much college you have or how many years you’ve been writing. No one wants your good ideas, because readers don’t want to actually read them.
6. They are flooding the internet with bad writing
Same idea, really. They aren’t even writing, they’re just a list of places or things. Buzzfeed is full of so much crap content, it makes a sewer look like a field of wildflowers.
7. Most people don’t read the whole list anyway
Seriously, I’m surprised you made it this far. Or where you just waiting to see how I shock you with number 8?
8. They usually make it to the “shocking one”
Are you totally blown away? Yeah, I never am either. But it got you to click on it, didn’t it? Might as well read the last two.
9. Literally anyone can do it
You know how to count? Cool, here’s a job writing. Be sure to smile as you make it even harder for actual writers to make a place for themselves in the industry.
10. Honestly, ten wasn’t enough?
I can’t tell you how many moms I know that write listicles and call themselves a writer. It infuriates me. The area I live in has a lot of stay at home moms that get bored, so they start a blog writing listicles for sites like Pop Sugar or Buzzfeed and then brag like they’re just so talented. Anytime I’ve heard this, I have been unable to hold back a snarky reply because honestly, my kid could write listicles.
I’ll be honest, listicles do have a place in the world. However, that place is so small that like one maybe two writers per city/area can cover it. Whenever I go into the city, I occasionally look for something new to do and when that happens I usually consult a list. That being said, I don’t need ten billion lists by different people about where the best ramen is, or twenty lists with the same five free things to do in the city. The catchy, click bait aspect of it has caused them to spiral out of control. They have spread faster than the plague, killing all good opportunities in their path and redefining the industry in the worst possible way. I’m not saying to stop writing them completely. I am saying to cut way, way, WAY back and let real writing take center stage once again.