#1. Your brain works like everyone else’s: Have you noticed a pattern in your click-through habits? Do lists give you trigger finger? Writer’s know this. Heck, the internet is full of posts encouraging would-be authors to use this tried and true method for their blogs.

#2. Everybody is doing it: News agencies, LinkedIn Influencers, bloggers – everybody and their brother are using lists to lure eyeballs and numb brains. Just search for news on “5 things”.

5-Things#3. Lists are for the lazy: Lazy writers create lists for easy content. Lazy readers who want quick and dirty ideas skim lists. As if it weren’t easy enough to generate and read lists, services such as Listly  and Listverse have taken both to an entirely new level of lazy.

#4. List pushing is big business: Your penchant for reading lists is making sites like Buzzfeed so very wealthy. Are you  getting as much out of these lists are they are?

#5. Lists rot your brain: OK, I made that one up, but most of what goes into lists these days is made up junk. Really, though, if you’re reading a lot of lists, ask yourself when the last time you read a full-length article was? Do you even have the attention span for it anymore?

About Author

Alicia Wanless

La Generalista is the online identity of Alicia Wanless – a researcher and practitioner of strategic communications for social change in a Digital Age. Alicia researches how we shape — and are shaped — by a changing information space. With more than a decade of experience in researching and analysing the information environment, focusing on propaganda and information warfare, Alicia conducts content and network analysis, and has developed original models for identifying and analysing digital propaganda campaigns. Alicia is currently a PhD Researcher at King’s College exploring alternative frameworks for understanding the information environment.

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