Monday, April 7, 2014

More Lists of Nonsense Advice

I know I've written about the list problem that exists online now, but it still bugs me.

BuzzFeed and related faux news sites have created this love of lists that goes beyond the "10 Things That Will Drive Your Man Wild in Bed" type articles that Cosmo has had on every magazine cover since they launched. Now, you can get these short snippets of life saving-ish advice via numerous shared links on Facebook, and the titles are usually a tempting promise to make a real difference or tell you something you must know---  "15 Short Cuts to Saving Money while Losing Weight," or "How to Sleep Better to Improve Your Brain Power" or else their just weird and possibly topics you could try to work into any dead conversation to liven it up like, "What Abraham Lincoln Kept in his Beard."

But then you click on the link and the lists are cliche ridden and not startling or interesting at all. The title will be like, "How to Be Happier Every Day," and the list (written in probably ten minutes by a staff college intern) reads: "Stop and smell the roses. No really. Research shows that people who pause in their day to appreciate things like the smell of roses live longer and have lower blood pressure."

And maybe, could I please be a little ageist here and claim that I don't really care what a 23 year old has to say about long term relationships.  I am skeptical of any 23 year old's claim to have advice for me, and especially if it's relationship advice, given that her longest partnership would have had to begin in 7th grade, before her brain stopped developing, and couldn't be much longer than ten years.  I saw one the other day that was like, "How I Met My Husband Online and Married Him in Two Months." (I honestly think this might have been in The NY Times style section. Please tell me I'm making that up).

All I could think was to say to the author, Get back to me in five more years. Let me know how it's going then.



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