The Magic Solution(s)
For how long have we been wishing that life came with a guidebook? A set of points to tell us what to do whenever we felt that we were at crossroads?
Worry not, for now we literally have lists of ‘know how’s and ‘how-to’s’ to help us sail through virtually every stage of life.
Yes, I’m referring to the LISTICLES.
Those articles we find on Facebook and other websites that make sure we don’t leave the sides of our laptops and mobile phones- a different kind of addiction.
So what exactly IS a listicle? A listicle is a form of writing which is considerable short and easy to read and has a basic structure is, well, a list. But, it has enough content, and sometimes illustrations to be published as an article. A typical listicle prominently features a cardinal number in its title.
Although they seem like a novelty, this is pretty old a concept, the only difference being that earlier, these were more of lists and less of articles by nature. We always came across articles that said ‘15 ways to avoid cold’ or books that told us the ’10 success mantras’. Then why this sudden obsession with the 15s and the 10s and the 24s?
We All Do It
One of the major reasons why Listicles have made an impact on today’s audience is because of the topics being more relate-able, rather than just being generic and long shot. It is as if today’s audience knows there are really no 10 success mantras and for the cold, well, there are antibiotics.
Listicles like ‘13 ways to bring a twist to your boring life’, or ’20 kinds of girls we find in every girls’ hostel’, do nothing else other than simply reinforcing the notions and facts that we’re already sure of, but Voila! That’s where the whole marketing strategy lies.
Give people what they are thinking of on a platter with bullet points, and they shall be more than happy to accept these “knowledgeable” sites as a part of their routines.
From The Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies’ to the ’31 Things You Can Make Out of Cereal Boxes’, listicles are beloved for their crisp information format and are even dubbed ‘lazy journalism’ for the eternal lunchtime ‘news snacker’.
After all, they deliver bite-sized, easily scan-read information that’s also easily shareable across social media.
According to a study, the younger generation, with its allegedly shorter attention span, is the one who has driven the demand for listicles. Some others, though, believe that it’s not so much about attention span but about the lifestyle of the audience.
Our parents or grandparents would probably be mortified by the concept of a list being considered a news article.
But today’s generation is used to a regular intake of 140-character information, short Facebook updates and stories narrated through pictures.
The Future- Uncertain?
Listicles have proved to be the new age method to gauge audience attention for medium time spans. Sites like BuzzFeed have achieved great success by constantly publishing “listicles” that rank anything and everything.
There are some websites like Listverse, which are solely dedicated to listicles!
But the question is, ‘Is the very fabric of written culture coming apart?’
Is prose dissolving into a choppy sea of bite-sized jokey paragraphs? Are lists a form of literary crack? Will ’11 ways to know whether you and your partner are made for each other’ replace Anna Karenina?
Well, we are yet to know.
Thirteen Surprising Bathroom Habits Of Tech Innovators, Twenty-three Ways to make a relationship work, 15 Ways Women can boost their self-confidence, Eleven Tips For A Hot Funeral Selfie and what not?
The question is, whether this trend is really just a fad that would go with time or whether it is here to stay, making us slaves of bullet points and numbers.
Nevertheless, the numerous sites that have been working on uncountable listicles for our entertainment and “well-meant knowledge”, thank you guys for roping us out of our boring 75 minutes sessions with such ease.
See a listicle here.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.