10 Reasons You Should Stop Reading Listicles

Listicles, a blend of ‘list’ and ‘article’, have become a popular format in online content, particularly with the advent of digital media platforms. They offer information in a numbered format, making complex topics easily digestible and entertaining. While their exact origin is hard to trace, their popularity surged in the early 2000s alongside the rise of blogging and content-driven websites.

The lengthiest listicle on the internet could be anything from a long list of movies to exhaustive item compilations in specific niches, showcasing how these pieces often prioritise quantity over quality.

Now, let’s explore the reasons to reconsider your listicle consumption:

  1. The Preamble is Often Just Filler: Most listicles start with a needless, rambling introduction that adds little value. This fluff is designed to hook readers but usually ends up being a series of clichés and generalisations.

  2. You’ve Already Mastered Counting to Ten: Having read many listicles, you’re probably an expert at counting small numbers. It’s time for more intellectually stimulating challenges.

  3. Spoiler Alert: The Last Point is Often Underwhelming: The final point in a listicle can be disappointing, leaving you wondering why you read through the whole piece.

  4. Your Brain Needs More Than Snippets: Listicles provide quick, easy-to-digest content, but they lack depth, starving your brain of the rich, detailed information it needs to develop.

  5. Risk of Developing an Aversion to Depth: Overindulging in listicles can lead to a disinterest in more thoughtful, detailed content. This manifests as an inability to focus on or engage with complex information.

  6. They Tend to Be Predictable: The themes and advice in listicles are often recycled, offering little in the way of originality or insightful thought.

  7. The Illusion of Learning: Completing a listicle might feel like an achievement, but the knowledge gained is usually superficial and not transformative.

  8. You Could Be Doing Something More Productive: Instead of reading another listicle, consider activities that are more enriching and beneficial, like reading a book, learning a new skill, or picking up a new hobby.

  9. Many Are Written by AI (don’t look at me funny like that!): Nowadays, there’s a good chance that the listicle you’re reading wasn’t even written by a human but by an AI. While AI can generate informative content, it lacks the nuance and depth of understanding that a human writer brings, leading to a homogenisation of online content (this article says it all really).

  10. Distraction Leads to Accidents: Getting engrossed in listicles, especially while multitasking like walking or even driving, can be dangerous. As our friend in the photo unfortunately discovered, losing focus while on the move can lead to unexpected trips, falls, or even more serious accidents like ending up walking into oncoming traffic. It’s a stark reminder of the need for mindfulness and the risks of letting digital content consume our attention at inopportune times.

The Serious Side of Listicles

Listicles, while entertaining, can also propagate misinformation, particularly in sensitive areas like relationships, mental health, and health. This becomes a concern when people base significant life decisions on these oversimplified articles, reinforcing their existing beliefs without seeking in-depth, accurate information.

In an era dominated by quick information consumption, it’s vital to balance light reading with well-researched, substantial content, especially when it pertains to important life choices. While listicles have their place in the online world, it’s crucial to approach them with a critical mind and seek out more comprehensive and reliable sources for matters of consequence.

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