Top 5 Reasons Lists Kill Your Brain
I am not sure how your Facebook news feeds look, but mine sort of goes along with the current status update fads. My real and pretend friends always find new ways to express their feelings, then use these new expressions to...umm....express themselves.
Memes used to be a big thing, but those are sort of played out (praise be to the Jesus!). The big thing currently is Bit Strips. I have never used Bit Strips, but from what I can gather, you generate an avatar of yourself and create hilarious comic strips of your misadventures. All of this is well and good until someone posts a Bit Strip of them eating a plate of spaghetti with the caption, "Jessica is eating spaghetti."
I understand it's a free country and you are entitled to do whatever you wish and blah blah blah blah, but come on.
The other big thing that people are sharing these days are lists. With the popularity of web sites like BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post, we have become obsessed with lists such as 20 Things That Suck About Being an Adult or 27 Bizarre Things That All Women Have Done At Least Once or 8 Organic Foods That Can Actually Kill You.
I have made a list of my own that you can read and share if you like: 5 Reasons Lists Kill Your Brain.
1) THEY ARE INACCURATE.
There are more than 20 things that suck about being an adult. So much sucks about being an adult that you cannot possibly pick a top 20 or even 30. Also, some things about being an adult have so many dimensions that, on an accurate list, it would consume all items on the list on its own. For example, PAYING RENT.
Paying rent sucks so much that on any list of things that suck about being an adult PAYING RENT would be all of the reasons.
That's just one example. Life is more complicated than a top-whatever list. I am afraid that the more we consume life on such simple terms, we'll lose sight of our critical thinking and our attentions spans will be even more infantile than they already are.
2) LISTS FOSTER RESISTANCE
Those of you who have read The War of Art know about resistance. Simply put, resistance is anything or anyone that stops you from doing anything remotely productive with your time. The pull of lists is so strong that it pushes us away from doing worth while activities.
I may sound like I am being high and mighty, but I am really being hypocritical because I love a good list. I'm like, "Why yes, I would like to know the 7 Do's and Don'ts of Drinking Water!" (an actual list)
As a matter of fact, if we are on-line friends and you have posted a list, then the chances are that I read it; however my time could be spent doing anything else. Here is a list of things I could do instead of reading lists:
- Work on writing one of my films
- Work on editing one of my films
- Write a song
- Call my mom
- Take a nap
- File my finger/toe nails (which I ALWAYS need to do for some reason)
- Call my best friend Ryan Conner and make fart noises
...and the list goes on.
3) LISTS OFFER US NO ENLIGHTENMENT
The following is an exert from 27 Bizarre Things All Girls Have Done At Least Once:
Sit in a strange position when farting, so the fart bubble does not go up the cooter.
(Thanks to our friend circus_snatch, I don't think I need to say more with regard to this point.)
4) UNFAIR GENERALIZATIONS
Most of the lists I read generalize a gender, race, social class, etc and says that ALL people of that type do these specific things ALL the time. Not only does that encourage new and old stereotypes, but it turns us into assholes.
Some would argue, "Quincy, most of us are adults and can conduct ourselves as such on the Internet."
Okay then. Take a look at a few of the status updates your friends are posting regarding politics or the new race/celebrity scandal and let me know how mature we all can be in our adulthood. Some of today's most idiotic points of view can be traced back to a dumb ass list an adult read on some web site where the "journalist" who wrote it is too busy creating a Bit Strip of themselves dropping a deuce to research the topics that they're listing about.
5) LISTS SCARE ME
Like I said, I am being hypocritical because I engage in list reading constantly; however, I am among the population that understands what I read on lists may not be real or, at best, do not tell the whole story. There are a few people out there who site lists as a source of fact and belief. This frightens me. There is a chance that media will catch on and instead of writing thoughtful, fact based articles they'll give you 10 reasons why you should believe whatever.
I am even afraid that advertisements will turn to listing. 10 Reasons Why Bing is Better Than Google, is a fictional example of how listing can be used to spread falsehoods and bait you into wasting your time reading said list.
This post is too long. I'm going to end it here.