How we got the Listicle — You won’t believe Reason 3!

Disclaimer: I did absolutely no research or editing. Enjoy!

The listicle was born out of humanity’s unflinching desire to spread itself.

As we learned to crave sugary sweet content, words — especially those strung together to form complex sentences — simply became too tedious for consumption.

Enter, the listicle: a scrumptious oleo of GIFs, images, and palatable brevity whipped up to achieve one goal: Go Viral

The idea is simple:

1. Entice wandering eyes into reading things that don’t require much reading

2. Sell ad space

3. Sail off in a sea of profit

But somewhere between reasons 3 and 7 why your roommate is actually your best friend, you realize — everything’s changed. Reader is consumer and the backbone of digital media is a trivial countdown to nothing.


We must be wary of viral intent. The listicle is not inherently evil, but the power it wields is deceivingly awesome.

It exists not to be read, but to be felt. It’s an emotional siren luring you in with promises of relevance and inclusion.

“See me! Share me! Feed me to your friends for love and approval!” It knows too much. The listicle will not waver as long as it’s in view.

You click. You consume. You evaluate its impact on your feed…and your real life. You realize it’s no longer clear which is more important.

You ‘like’. You ‘share’. You are seduced and abandoned.

You witness the listicle while it spreads its seed to your growing flock of watchers.

You become one of many mothers, again and again giving life to this wretched little creature that knows no motive but to be and be seen.

The listicle moves on but the damage is done.

You are the listicle’s bitch.