- 31 DIY Ways To Make Your Backyard Awesome This Summer
- 25 Kids That Gave Absolutely Brilliant Answers On Their Tests. These Are Hysterically Genius.
- 200 Wise Words For Everyone. Number 28 Is Gold
- 8 Beers That You Should Stop Drinking Immediately
- 5 Companies That Excel at Screwing Over Customers
It’s become a very common trend to get use numbers as a way of attracting you to the title of a blog: 31 Ways, 25 Kids, 200 Wise Words, 8 Beers, 5 Companies. I bet you wanted to click on those articles, I know I did. There are many reasons why bloggers love to use these kind of titles and they make intuitive sense, even if it irks me to no end that the only reason they do it is for you to click, share and hope for viral growth.
1. Numbers, just like this list that you are now reading, help focus your attention.
2. Numbers, just like this particular point, set expectations.
3. Numbers, and you know I’m going to go to five, let you know how long it will take to read. 200 Wise Words, god that’s just too much y’know, but yeah I’ll scroll to Number 28…
4. Numbers… we like to count, no I’m not the Count. It’s probably something left over from grade school. I think I should write an article on the 1,356,218,235 Awesome Raindrops I Counted Today.
5. Numbers indicate a list, and boy do we like ranked lists.
I know that we all are busy and we don’t have time. I know that bloggers, journalists, writers, including humble moi, just like to be read and shared, so yes we need to make things as easy to digest as possible. However, we readers should be asking more from our bloggers, writers and journalists, lest we get the exact type of journalism and blogging that we deserve: 10 Photos Of Crimea That Will Blow Your Mind. No actual dissection of issues, reasons or discussion to make decisions with. I sincerely hope that Obama or Harper’s daily briefings aren’t titled the same way … “10 Facts That Will Blow Your Mind About Putin“.
We, both as readers and writers, need to be less driven to that quick laugh, that quick share or that quick hit. We as a society should be demanding more. Yes, it’s okay to watch a funny cat video, heck, funny cat videos make the world a better place, but imagine if that’s all there is? Imagine if all you saw in your news feeds and newspapers were articles like the above. That would make me sad.
I know. Easy to say and very likely I’m overreacting. I’d like to think that we are all smarter than those that try to manipulate us with flashy headlines, quick soundbites and numbered lists. What say you? Is it time to have 5 Reasons To Boycott Numbers In Annoying Blog Posts That Drive Me Mad?