I used to always joke about how awful BuzzFeed and ThoughtCatalog (BuzzFeed for women that claim they are giving up coffee for Lent) were but as of now, they are totally winning the argument. Every time I log onto a social media site, I see some bullshit list that is a mixture of 90s nostalgia (8 reasons why the 90s were TOTALLY RAD YO :Sprite Remix:), self-pity (4 reasons why you are a shitty child and you should thank your Mom even though you still won’t add her on Facebook), regional bias (2 things only SOUTH JERSEY WOULD UNDERSTAND :”the sky is BLUE:”) and of course, individuality (666 things only Catholic girls would understand :”what’s with GAY MARRIAGE?”:).
It’s actually the worst thing that’s ever happened. It’s almost like being teleported into some AIM chatroom or MySpace bulletin board where people permanently posted those awful surveys and asked you for a pic comment when they commented on your shit. I’m half-expecting a new list why Tom from MySpace was the best friend ever (“he never unfollowed you unlike your ex and that kid from that class”) or something else.
Down with lists. But there’s a reason these things strike us so hard. They are supposed to be click-porn and given how much the average person thinks of themselves (the answer is highly); we think that we are being spoken to by some anonymous failed electronic media major.
There are about 1 billion people in America (I have no idea if that’s true and didn’t bother looking it up), and most of us remember the 90s because we were young, stupid and unaware of the fact that jobs were tough. We idealize our youth, just like every generation before us who claim they had it much tougher, because we knew nothing and now we know how terrible things are. For the record in the 90s, marriage equality was legal nowhere, there was the Bosnia crisis, the bombings of the World Trade Center, recessions, a potential removal of office of the President, slow internet, horrible television (watch an episode of Doug and try to seriously enjoy it-impossible) and no Jennifer Lawrence.
Why do we want to go back to that? To have shitty failed sodas? If you liked Sprite Remix so much, it would still be around instead of only sold in Malaysia (the Kutztown of Asia).
Then you have the horrible sentimental pieces. This is to make you feel terrible and also pretend to appreciate your parents, significant others or local registered sex offender by speaking in cliches that Hallmark turned down. “You might’ve screamed at her, but deep down you knew you loved her”; no shit I love my Mom. I don’t need a Bon Iver listening latte drinker to tell me that.
But again, we are driven back to sentimentality. We miss our childhood because we miss our innocence. We miss our parents being in our lives everyday, because frankly, we miss being told what to do instead of trying to figure out our own routine and paying our own bills. For the record, every person born before 1985 will swear to you that they were working when they were three months old and kids these days are just so lazy. Also, we realize that we took everything for granted when we were children. I used to be so excited to learn how to drive. It seemed like the perfect liberation and also a cool thing to do. Within a year, it became just an annoyance.
That’s how everything works.
Of course you have the regional lists where people go “hah, I get it!” because WaWa is the greatest thing ever (New Jersey), the first day of hunting is the best off day of school (Pennsylvania) or “spitting on pictures of MLK was my favorite thing Dad taught me besides peeking under the dressing rooms at clothing stores!” (Florida).
This is supposed to tap into our regional superiority. Everyone from New Jersey hates everyone from New Jersey. We have nothing. The beaches are nice and all but it’s not exactly Cancun or even St. Augustine. We have Six Flags, but it’s not quite Disney World. But the minute someone from another state criticizes New Jersey all of a sudden we are like “we pump kegs not gas so IDGAF!”. Because not self-service.
I couldn’t tell you how horrible these things are. Everything is roughly recycled posts with enough variations for ass-pickers to go “this is SO ME!” because well, we have nothing else. That’s why you are so excited to see which serial killer matches your personality or which Kate Upton pose you would totally do.
Down with lists.