Throughout any given work day, there are a handful of sites that I peruse for entertainment, education or just to plain pass the time. Generally, I like to be somewhat in tune with the news of what’s going on locally in Atlanta, what’s going on in the country to some capacity, and to read about stuff that interests me like baseball, video games, and LoL. I enjoy keeping my mind stimulated by interesting content, and it also helps pass the time, when I have an excess of it.
One of the sites I regularly visit because I think they occasionally have some decent content, I made a mistake of clicking on an “article” that was about stars of today when they were child actors. Admittedly, it appealed to my nostalgic side before I realized what I was clicking into, and then it turned out to be this putrid list that contained maybe 70 words, several animated gifs, some YouTube videos, and was a cherry-picked list of fairly C-level actors that clearly are niche preferred by the writer (they don’t deserved to be called an author).
The first thought that came to my mind was that this post was a piece of shit, and it was basically an even-poorer BuzzFeed post, if that’s even humanly possible. Naturally, since today’s conglomerate bloggers are all attention-seeking egomaniacs who need to have a blurb at the end of every single one of their posts that extols their “history” and “achievements,” it wasn’t the least bit of a surprise when this writer’s credentials included, a past internship at where else – BuzzFeed.
Mystery of why the post was such so shitty, solved.
But it brings to attention the fact that the content of today’s internet has pretty much become very list-heavy. Actually, I can’t really say just the internet, because it’s apparent in all sorts of media, when the content well becomes a little stagnant and desperate for content, a parade of lists ends up coming into play, and often time people seem to eat that shit up.
I’m not going to pretend as if I’m completely above lists, because I’ve enjoyed my share of them too, but looking back at varying lists that I have enjoyed, they’ve all had one thing in common – they were substantial. As in, everything listed had some modicum of justification, explanation and actual thought behind why they were placed in their list. Then again, on the radio and on television, it’s a lot harder to get away with a single sentence, followed by an animated gif, blown up to appear more substantial than it really is. And in print, it’s obviously impossible, although I wouldn’t put it past a lazy publication to start publishing actual URLs of YouTube clips onto paper, and actually expect a reader to type out “youtube.com/x8HF7Av9” given how lazy, negligent and inconsiderate people are these days.
On the internet unfortunately, there are way too many bullshit lists that pollute the world wide web with their lack of substance and the lazy nature in which they’re constantly churned out on a daily basis. I get that running websites is business for many, and revenue is based on clicks and page views, and pervading the eyes of the unsuspecting with ads for shit they don’t need, and in many cases, don’t want.
The thing is, it’s no secret that bullshit sites like BuzzFeed are known for 90% of their content being the same list posts filled with nothing but animated gifs and YouTube videos, written by retards, but when the obsession with lists goes so far as to where (seemingly) legit outlets for news and content become so desperate to tap into those clicks and page views, to where they join the masses and start producing bullshit lists and thoughtless countdowns themselves. At that point, it kind of becomes a little bit pathetic, and makes me feel piteous towards them. Well-written, thought-provoking content is losing the battle at keeping someone’s attention versus a bunch of dumb gifs put in a subjective order with a YouTube clip as justification.
Not everyone is like me (thank god), but for those that are, websites can only go so far with constantly producing inane, repetitive and simply just not entertaining crap, before we simply give up on the site. And it’s just not giving up on the site, it’s, like in my case, straight up distain for it, to where I make efforts to blacklist crap producing websites as spam on my Facebook feed, and use their lack of ability to create content as motivation to better myself at doing so.
Ultimately, I don’t really have a problem with lists as content, but only as long as there is some substance to them. Personally, I find the BuzzFeed style of animated gifs to be thoughtless, effortless, and reason for the people producing them to be embarrassed with their integrity for being able to call that “their job.” I don’t have to agree with why things are on a list, but a little bit of explanation, and thought stimulation would be kind of nice.