Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I did not find this interesting till I reached the question this girl asks at the end. It sends chills down your spine.


Remember the good old times when people used to post content on the net without telling you what to think about it? Me neither.
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What, why are you still looking at me like I am 80 years old just because I asked that question? I admit I am a little old-fashioned sometimes. Not old really. Ah well, there WAS a part of my life with no internet, but let's pretend I didn't just say that, and move on.

You have seen this on buzzfeed. And cracked. And distractify. And upworthy. And of course, facebook- the mother of all social nonsense. There is usually a video with the link showing a very beautiful woman or an unbelievably scary (heart-wrenching. I said heart-wrenching) photo of someone dying. And the link reads something like this: "Listen till 0:40. I promise you that moment will change your life forever."  
I see it and usually go "Dude. Do you know what I have gone through in my life? Do you even know what life-'changing' means? I don't count Dawkins as life-changing, though in fact reading Dawkins has influenced me a great deal." 





And hearing a kid talk about donations or seeing photos of people who look vaguely similar (not even exactly the same) is life-changing?! (Minor technicality: I actually like that kid, though I disagree with him. What I don't like are the adjectives they use to describe him. Like in the picture above. With 4 consecutive sentences that finish in 'ever'! And I don't even want to start on the "danciest dance breakdown". Dancy is NOT an adjective. And is the last name of a very good looking actor. Seriously, who hires these writers? :-/ )

Or you see a link like this one:.  



As if it was a day-to-day occurrence for a man to hug a wild lion. Wait, did you say wild lion? As opposed to what? Your neighbour's pet lion?
Besides, I was one of those who believed in unicorns along with Agnes. How do YOU know I won't believe what happens next in your "wild" lion video? To tell you the truth, I think people have changed the rules of grammar by now. The "you won't believe what happens next" is an alternative for the period (aka full-stop) in modern day punctuation.
  
Anyway. You might wonder why this kinda thing even affects me. The internet has so much junk anyway. You see, the problem is that it is not just facebook that is filled with the I-have-a-lame-article/link-but-I-should-make-you-click-on-it-so-let-me-use-hyperbole-to-say-it's-awesome brigade. Every website you visit is filled with an army of lamer-than-Ravi-Shastri adjectives making it very hard to find decent content online.

First of all, I don't like being told what to think of something before being told the thing. What do humans have brains with frontal lobes for- to copy-paste your opinion?

Second is, of course, the army-of-adjectives. An article titled "20 touching dog gifs" tells the reader what to expect. But "40 best dog gifs of all time which will make you cry for your lost childhood?" That's just crap. Did someone say hyperbole? Good you mentioned.
See I don't hate hyperbole. It is not my device of choice, but it's good sometimes. (Like with Ogden Nash. Or Oatmeal. And no, I don't know why both my examples start with an 'O'.) However, when everyone insists on using the superlative form of adjectives for everything, you kinda go like this:




Oh, and before I am done. What's with all these lists? In the last month alone, people shared all the following links on my fb- '19 reasons why long distance relationships are better than you think', 'Why your long distance relationship is totally worth it', 'What a long distance relationship feels like' and '12 steps to surviving one'. For sometime, I thought it is like the long-distance month or something. Or maybe they ran out of topics. And what's worse? All of them from buzzfeed.

Hmmm.

A list is a beautiful writing device. Organize your content, list them in points and hit the nail. I used to love lists in articles because it makes the content much easier to remember. But when a list of 40 is made by rephrasing the same sentence 40 times, and then that is copied into 4 different articles- well, it is killing the list. In fact, these days, I simply refuse to read lists.

Pre-deciding the opinion, hyperbole, lists... well, enough ranting for the day. And if you were wondering, The India Hangover -Part 2 is on its way.
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What? The question? No, there is no question in the end. That was obviously a hook. You knew it. Of course, I could have been kind and made up a lame question. Or I could have called this article "41 reasons why the internet should stop making lists like this one", and then made 41 points out of 1 or 2 and numbered them from 1 to 41. But you see they are the most inane techniques ever. They are so air-headed you could fill a million Helium balloons with them. Wait, did I mention the hyperbole? The most-overused and worst device EVER?

4 comments:

  1. Well said! I especially liked 'lamer-than-Ravi-Shastri adjectives' :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post has been selected for the Spicy Saturday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)

    ReplyDelete

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