Monday, January 6, 2014

Six Reasons Not To Read Lists

Tis the season for everyone to post and repost lists on their social media pages. Not one to be left at the dock, I have decided to make my own list of the reasons not to read lists.

  1. Lists aren’t special. Who is the final expert on deciding 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Become a Better Person? Why should I read a list that suggests it is the final word on choosing the 10 best of anything? Couldn’t Charles Manson publish a list like this? Howard Stern? What about Justin Beiber? Would everyone read it and belieb it? (Don’t you see why I had to do that?)
36 Ways to keep the faith! But reinvent your life after you keep that faith, because you could meet 
Iyanla Vanzant and have an amazing SEXY YOU YEAR. Keep that faith honey.

Don't even bother to read the 27 Instant Room Upgrades when you can skip down to the fine, 
naughty print at bottom right for five heinous habits you just must keep.

  1. How do you determine a true #1? While I certainly do Google the “best of” in categories like electronics, hotels, poison ivy remedies, spaghetti squash recipes and baby products, I can find 38 different first choices for “best domestic bed and breakfast with a working chicken coop”. This gives me cause to doubt exactly which IS the best chicken coop at which to stay on my hard earned vacation.

  1. These lists, whether online or in print, are basically designed to sell something in the end. Have you read a list that did not have advertising included? Just the other day, I accidentally clicked on 8 Ways to Ensure Survival and there in perky flash format were two Anime’ pixies, dancing and beckoning me to START GAME…which is just a tantalizing way to get you to join a video game club. All the while a Comcast ad is pulsating across the top of the screen. (BTW, the #2 way to ensure survival is to develop colonies on other planets…in suspending floating cities or giant balloons…I’m sharing this tidbit so you’ll be prepared in the end…and I won’t be in the floating balloon by myself.)
20 Bright Ideas to ReCharge your Body (and most would require you charging your credit card as well), 
14 Favorite Beauty Products in the World! Do you know what this means? We are going to have to go down 
to a gold mine in Guyana and dig us up some mineral rich soil that someone will somehow formulate into a 
cappuccino colored silky cream with bits of rare cobra venom guaranteed to 
paralyze your wrinkles and scare them from ever returning.

  1. Nobody has time to read all those lists. The time it takes for us to read those lists, we could memorize something useful. Like our children’s social security numbers, our license plate number, or our password for iTunes so that we can download a grammar app.

  1. Why do people assign an arbitrary number to their lists? I’ll tell you why. (See above mag cover...14 Favorite Beauty Products in the World) If they write, “The 30 Best….” or “The 25 Worst….” most people will not take the time to read it. I say choose a number less than 10 so that it will be more tempting. And more than 5 so that you can act like you've done a little research. The enumeration of lists is ridiculous. Yet I can’t seem to stop doing it.

  1. Reading lists is not going to improve your life. Neither will reading a blog post for that matter. It may entertain and even cause us to obnoxiously inject it upon our friends but honestly, who has added depth or value to a conversation by quoting a list? How can one possibly keep up with all the lists out there?

Because I am feeling benevolent, I am going to write my final list. The one that counts. The one that is unequivocally true. The one quoted from the ultimate source of knowledge and wisdom. The one that actually WILL add value and accomplishment and completion to your life.

Love God.
Love People.

I did not make that up or arbitrarily decide to use two statements. I did a little research. It’s right here.

That’s pretty much the only list that matters to me.

Before you get indignant and return to me all of the lists I have sent to you, publicly humiliating me, just know that I own up to having read and shared a good many lists. Including this one…and most every other blogpost I've written.

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