Living Outside Numbered Lists

I’m a reader. I read everything from The New Yorker to East of Eden to silly BuzzFeed posts about how I’m really 35 on the inside. I like the emotional appeal from a good article just as much as I like a cute post about how this kitten fits inside of a teacup (A TEACUP!). Lately, though, I have taken note of a trend that seems to have taken over my social media feeds.

While mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, I have noticed more and more articles being shared that involve a numbered list pointing to 16 Reasons Who We Should Be and What We Should Own By This Age or 62 Reasons Why You’re Too Old For This. While most of these are intended to be humorous at their core, I have seen an overwhelming amount of, “SO TRUE!” replies in re-posting, and I cannot deny that I have done my fair share of, “Wow, it’s me.” in response.

I think it is about time this fad find its cliff. I love BuzzFeed, but it is perhaps the Walmart of these viral posts. BuzzFeed itself is a collection of all-things-random throughout internet. This site has easily taken every awe, wonder and question and condensed it into an online quiz or numbered list of biased information. The real problem with these seemingly innocent posts? They are incredibly clever in playing on insecurities – however untouched they are – and growing unrealistic expectations.

Should we really be convinced that we are confined to 16-point articles telling us what we cannot miss and who we must be at a certain age? Because if that is the case, what I missed out on when I was 20something means I have failed to meet that particular writer’s expectation for what fun I should have had, what living life really is. While none of this acts like too large of a barrier between reality and expectation for me, for some, I think, it may act as that false perception of what this or that age is like.

When reality hits that the age of 25 really means the electricity bills override that trip to Ireland, it may feel like something is missing according to that post you read about What To Do Before 25. What I can assure is that a life fully lived is one separate from the articles that tell you what to have and who to be. The “Me too!” that comes from relating should happen across from one another and not the shallow depths of the internet. Maybe it is safest to assume that life is worth being excited about, despite what a list of numbers say.

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