Why Lists Have Become So Prevalent In Pop Culture

ImageAhhh, the list. You’ve seen them all. From the pop culture infused Buzzfeed to the twenty something hipster generation of Thought Catalog. The list has been making it’s way into mainstream writing and it doesn’t look like it will be going away anytime soon. The internet is filled with list overload and for the avid reader, some aren’t so impressed.

Some critics have said that the list is just a way for lazy writers to get their point across without actually having to put any thought into it, but I disagree. Sure, it may be easier than writing a longer piece, but it eliminates jargon. How many times have we skimmed through an article only to get to the main idea? Guilty! The truth of the matter is, and it is often viewed as sad, is that we have shorter attention spans than we did in the past, so the list is a great way to cut to the chase, therefore we won’t lose our reader’s interest.

Sure there are some ridiculous lists out there, such as the aforementioned Thought Catalog list you may see once a week explaining “10 Reasons Why Being 25 Sucks Ass,” but like anything in life, you have the power to choose which one you spend your time on. Many writers find that lists are more effective in the creative process, therefore they use them to organize ideas and simplify what once seemed like a tedious task of translating those ideas onto paper. I suppose you can call it a new way of thinking.

The times are changing. As a 25 year old, I find myself retreating back to my old habits of my childhood when I would get out a notepad and actually write with a pen in my hand. I know. I’m a lunatic. Should I see a therapist? I enjoy a life that’s half “outdated,” half advanced. It keeps things balanced and in perspective. I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I find that writing lists, especially for album reviews, are a lot more fun than trying to convey what I’m feeling through pretentious music journalist jargon.


What are your thoughts on lists?


2 thoughts on “Why Lists Have Become So Prevalent In Pop Culture

  1. I agree with this completely, I’m guilty of a few list style posts. Like you’ve said, sometimes we skim to the bottom to get to a point and it’s a way of keeping your reader’s attention instead of having them get stuck in a big pile of words. I have found that when I write lists they seem to do quite well, people seem to engage with them. 🙂


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