by James Manning
As someone who loves lists, loves reading articles in the vein of “Five Things You Should do to Your Feet”, I’m really annoyed by lists that take themselves too seriously. There is not a day that goes by where someone doesn’t share a link to an article stating the nine things that successful people do. It’s obviously click bait, and I take it hook, line and sinker. It’s a crap shoot as to whether the article will offer a fresh perspective or be a filler-piece masquerading as enlightenment.
This is true for those list articles that take on heady subjects like parenting, success, business, relationships, and spirituality. After reading the heading, there is little reason to read any further. An 800 word article isn’t the place to delve into the, Seven things that lead to spirituality, so you get what amounts to two tweets and a donut. Not to mention most list items are subjective and there are many that read like they were written by the weed smoking hippie who sits on the subway stairs yelling out “believe in yourself and all of your dreams will come true” to the rest of us minions meandering through life, hoping our lunch is still in the work cafeteria fridge and that we don’t get hit by a bus. I give tropes like that an evil eye while wishing I had the nerve to kick them in the kneecap.
That same feeling is what I’m left with when I read an article that supposedly will reveal the eight things rich people do differently only to find out that rich people have the luxury of doing certain things because, well, they’re rich. What a waste of six minutes.
But I’m not totally against list articles, especially those that take on interesting subjects or whose purpose is providing some much needed comedic relief. To those list writers I say “bless you.” Over the years I’ve learned how to survive the zombie apocalypse, drive across the country with an angry girlfriend, little known facts about the Civil War, and wild berries I should never eat.
I’m a creature of habit and will continue to indulge in the article list click bait-o-rama. I may write a few of my own in the near future. But I’m not taking the serious ones seriously unless they are in a book format. I’m not falling for the banana in the tailpipe. So don’t give me a list where one of the items is, “successful people take care of themselves,” when damn near everyone on Wall Street is sniffing cocaine and A-List Hollywood actors are drugging one another for sex. Of course, you can always add that to the list… that would be worth six minutes of my time.