I am a blogger and a reader and I’ll admit: I click on them – we all do. These lists that keep popping up everywhere – BuzzFeed, ThoughtCatalog, LifeHack, and countless other sites. Some of them are downright hilarious; and the sarcastic ones don’t bother me one bit. I even really enjoyed , but there are some that are downright ridiculous: (And these are just a few that really inspired this rant.)
– “How to Be Attractive to the Average Male”
– “4 Ways to Combat your Mid-Twenties Identity Crisis”
– “11 Warning Signs that You’re Settling for Less in Life”
It’s like if you read this and any of the items apply to you, you self-diagnose that you’re settling or in an identity crisis, or will be forever alone, or that you hate your job. It’s like WebMD for your life, in the worst way.
When we get clicking and sharing and reading and posting about these lists that are supposed to characterize us, we lose a little bit of what makes us unique! I don’t know about you, but I actually don’t really like it when I fit into these lists across the board. I don’t want to be able to be put in a box, to have some random person explain to me “12 Signs that Your Best Friend is the Best.” I know that I’m blessed with several best friends, and I could make a damn better list than whatever I find shared on Facebook.
Even more disturbing to me are the ones like “Twelve Signs You’re in a Highly Cherished Relationship.” These posts attempt to define details of your life in such a way that makes one believe if even one part of your life doesn’t fit this mold, then, well, you’re probably just not in a highly cherished relationship! Generalities abound, and for some reason, we tolerate it and even seem to enjoy this type of classification. I don’t know about you, but “11. You are never nagged.” or “2. You get a message every day!” are somewhat absurd.
These how-to columns that make big claims I believe will often only lead to big disappointments and low self-esteem.
So I share with you this: “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.” Those lists aren’t going to define you, because you are far too intriguing, beautiful, and complex to be summed up in an list of 12 abstract things.
In the words of author John Steinbeck, “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”