The Internet has become overloaded with an influx of GIF-centered "writing" many call "listicles." I contend that the majority of people who take writing seriously would agree with me that this style of "writing" is one of the reasons why readers have become so uninterested in creative writing. The people spending numerous hours per week on BuzzFeed and BuzzFeed clone sites who want "cute" photos of non-human animals or GIFs from a famous movie to "tell the story" of an important event or moment such as final weeks or the holidays have very low expectations for what counts as writing. Unfortunately, many websites are falling into the trap of attempting to be BuzzFeed clones in order to get high amounts of traffic. Indeed, claiming that page-view journalism and clickbait sites are the end of writing as we know it is a bit of an exaggeration, however, I believe that this is useful in calling attention to a huge problem that must be discussed. I will admit that writing about this issue on this type of platform is highly ironic since links for listicles and such will be all around this article's link. I apologize for the irony. Of course, writing about this runs the risk of sounding self-righteously pious, but the aim of this article is to appeal to the ego and the super-ego rather than the id as defined by Sigmund Freud.
This is writing?
As I have said, no one who is mature enough to enjoy the art of writing seriously would argue that listicles and page-view journalism are valuable. The argument of "many people enjoy viewing these pieces" is not persuasive enough to convince non-hack writers that the "writing" should be regarded as anything other than offensive, aggravating, and a waste of time. Indeed, BuzzFeeddoes produce decent pieces of writing from time-to-time, however, the website produces listicles and that is simply unacceptable. Admittedly, BuzzFeed is not as infuriating as the other clickbait websites that are slideshows of pictures that will "change your life," however, these other websites do not apologize for BuzzFeed and BuzzFeed clone websites. Not only is it insulting to create a piece of "writing" with 20 images or GIFs with captions, it is flat-out theft. Simply giving attribution to GIFs in a list is not enough. The creation of GIFs is arduous. Period. If someone stole my hard-work to put my GIFs in a list for publishing online I would not be flattered, I would be furious.
What do we do?
If what I have said so far has intrigued you, then I am sure that you are curious about what to do after reading this. I urge you to avoid all page-view journalism or clickbait "articles". I urge you to avoid BuzzFeed and BuzzFeed clone websites until editors and readers appreciate serious, mature writing. Creative writing (poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, etc.) should be read, encouraged, and published instead of what is being passed-off as "writing". I urge you to try your hand at crafting a creative piece of writing because it is much more rewarding, full of emotions, thought-provoking, and able to create an emotional response in the reader. Lastly, I will admit that my claims are not backed by any evidence or credible sources, however, I believe that my experiences do count and should not be invalidated Therefore I urge you to think about what I have written and how it affects you and talk about it.