Part of my morning ritual is reading my three favorite websites: Cracked, ThoughtCatalog and BuzzFeed. But there’s a trend hitting the Internet, and it’s hitting hard: Top 10 articles. Most of these websites thrive on posts that fall under this category, or some variation of it. Usually it’ll be something along the lines of '18 animals that…’ or '12 celebrities you never knew…’ etc. But I’ve found out the formula to those elusive Top 10s, and I’ve identified their Top 9 fundamental flaws (because I am morally against making my own Top 10).
1. They all contradict each other.
YOLO. Be responsible. TAKE RISKS. Don’t get your heart broken. BEING SINGLE IS GREAT. Why being alone sucks. I LOVE MY CURVES. Be healthy and fit. There’s a stream of information we receive on a daily basis, most of which fundamentally contradict. My life has become a roller coaster of emotions flipping through these articles.
2. They are excessively redundant.
Body image, love, travel, and self-reflection are the most commonly featured topics on these websites on a day-to-day basis. While these are all valid and interesting subjects, enough is enough.
3. They fuel our guilty pleasure for gossip.
The number of times I’ve read a cheap headline that was both witty and enticing is frightening. My personal favorite: “Celebrities you never knew were teen parents”. These juicy stories lure us in, and the worst part is, they don't sound guilty about it.
4. Their reliability is doubtful.
31-year-olds talking about the secret to life? 20- year-olds giving relationship advice? I’m sure everyone has their own experiences that are helpful in providing insight, but I can make my own mistakes, thank you very much.
5. They are easy reads.
I’ve gotten used to having everything so conveniently broken down for me into a funny list with pretty pictures and cute gifs. You know what’s not written in that format? My Business Law textbook. I know it’s my fault, but these articles are making me a literary sloth. More than 200 words and no pictures? NOPE.
6. They over-simplify life experiences.
Need a boyfriend? Here are 10 steps to getting the perfect date. Have relationship problems? These are the 10 tell tale signs you’re about to break up. Can’t decide on lunch? Here are 59 restaurants you should go to before you DIE. Honestly, if life were easy enough that I could follow a ten-step process to ‘land that job’ or ‘get the man of my dreams’ …then I’d have learned how to count in 15 languages.
7. They overwhelm us with emotions, and unrealistic ambitions.
I never noticed how many places I’d never visited until I read the Top 50 places I need to go. I’ve also never been as hungry as when I read about the top foods to eat. Similarly, I’ve never felt so much as EVERY TIME they have some kind of Top Cutest Animal post.
8.. They always include a portion of worthless fluff.
By point 8 or 9 in the article, the writer clearly has given up. This is the ‘fluff’ part of the article. It’s obvious that they’re just trying to fill the quota their editors/bosses have given them. This is clearly not one of those…
9. They end with a breathtaking, life-altering finale.
This is the best part of these articles, leaving you with a quote or words of wisdom. This is also my least favorite part. You can almost hear the breath of fresh air the writer takes as they finish their masterpiece. It’s cheesy and always, always, leaves me feeling better about myself. I hate it.
School, major and year: A&S, Economics, 2015
HometownRancho Cucamonga, California
What makes the Gavel so BANGin’? We keep it fresh. It’s drippin with swagger and is home to some of the coolest cats on campus. The Gavel is always fun and I’ve met nothing short of amazing people and writers here.
You have 24 hours to give prospective students a tour of BC and convince them to enroll. How do you spend the day? I’d start by getting some coffee and a personalized omelet at Mac. Then we’d go lose our voices at a football game and wear our super awesome Superfan shirts. We would then go see one of the amazing Acapella groups perform. We’d get some Mac N Cheese from the Rat for lunch. We would go see My Mother’s Fleabag for an awesome good time. Then we’d take a break and visit the dorms (i.e. sit in my room and watch Mean Girls…because Mean Girls.). We would then go to a hockey game, then to the Mods, and end the night at Late Night.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a pep talk the night before you moved into BC as a freshman, what is the most important piece of advice that you would give to your former self? Eat your vegetables and take a lot of pictures.
What is your favorite study spot on campus? The Rat
What is your go-to meal at Late Night? That delicious Simply Orange juice the dining halls always have stocked. This and a personal pizza topped with ketchup. Judge all you want, but ketchup on pizza is the best thing to happen since Game of Thrones.
What is the #1 most played song on your iTunes? “I Always Knew” by the Vaccines
What is the best Halloween costume that you have ever worn? I was Minnie Mouse as a kid. Not trying to brag, but I rocked the ears off that costume.
If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Del Taco
If you could befriend the main characters from any TV show or movie, who would you choose and why? Easy. Harry Potter. (I’m assuming) I’d get to go to Hogwarts, be a wizard AND be friends with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It’s a win win, for me anyway. If I can’t be a wizard then i’d be friends with the main characters from This Is The End.