Why Listicles Are Terrible
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By far the simplest form of content on the Internet is the listicle. These shining gems of literacy are produced by anyone with even a tincture of ability for hack writing in them. Just as with porn, their video counterpart in crowding the Internet, listicles are made by amateurs who never seem to get the right shot. But -- to run with the comparison a little further -- they are an immediately eye-catching way for a viewer (voyeur) to get their fix.

The point of a listicle is its cheapness. A site wants to issue pieces that attract high amounts of traffic so its profit dividends go up. And the most effective way on the Internet -- a multiplicity of pop-ups, hyperlinks, unopened tabs, buried caches of bookmarks, GIFs, memes, and so on -- to catch the viewer's ever-shrinking attention span is producing very easily digestible content. Hence, there is content, but little substance.

For good examples of listicles you can go no further than this website -- or BuzzFeed. What you will likely notice after spending hours linking from 29 People Who Know How Much Pizza Matters to Planet Earth to 17 Signs You're Actually the Grinch to 11 Things People with Anxiety Want You to Know, greedily sucking at the tidbits of information we're hardwired to desire, is that you have been doing effectively nothing. In fact, worse than nothing: you have gained superficial knowledge about insignificant things.

What listicles do is the exact opposite of what reading an article is supposed to, which is to make you think. What makes them easily consumed is also what leads to a severe lack of cogitation -- or any real benefit derived from reading. If anything, most listicles are harmful in that they promote bad reading habits, which make for bad writing habits, reward poor, empty-calorie writing over nutritional, substance-filled content, and encourage click baiting.

The mental state of catalepsy maximally required by listicles is representative of a broader trend in our consumer society. Our minds are more geared towards meaningless consumption of entertainment than matters of higher quality and importance. What is worrisome is that, by and large, the demographic that reads these is teenagers and 20-somethings. I know we have been raised in a culture of frivolity and entitlement, but we cannot allow this to be what occupies our screens and our minds. This is too crucial a time to be spent reading or writing such disengaged drivel.

Cover Image Credit: ebengregory.com

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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GM Closing The Lordstown, OH Plant Is A Tragedy For All Of America And MUST Be Averted

The Ohio GM plant's closing could spell doom for a region struck by immense poverty and drug addiction.

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The Midwest has long been the bastion of American manufacturing. For decades, the region served as the gateway to a new life for migrants seeking to work in automobile plants and steel factories. Perhaps no other city embodies this than Youngstown, Ohio.

For decades the city was a hub for eastern Ohio, with steel foundries still aglow with the lights of the factory.

However, much of the city's population soon departed as the foundries shuttered, culminating in Black Monday in 1973 when 5,000 people lost their jobs. Yet, there was still some manufacturing in the GM Lordstown plant in Ohio.

Now? We found ourselves in yet another similar situation, as GM announced that the plant would close, leading to the loss of 1,400 jobs.

Now there were many justifications offered for this closing, along with the closing of other plants in North America. GM has seen a decline in the number of sales in the car the plant makes, the Chevy Cruze, and the plant only has one shift.

Another could be the tariffs levied on materials by the United States government, which have always been passed onto consumers. GM itself has stated that the immense tariffs on steel and aluminum cost them 1 billion dollars.

There are others, but these are some of the most prominent.

Regardless of the justifications, a solution must be found for these workers. While Representative Tim Ryan and Senator Sherrod Brown have harped on GM relentlessly over this potential catastrophe, the full scope of the effects of this closing should not be ignored.

Losing jobs in this fashion would be immensely detrimental to the region. This region has always been predicated on the industry and losing a significant number of jobs could exacerbate the region's unemployment rate, poverty rate and other factors.

This is not even diving into the opioid epidemic.

In the Steel Valley (featuring the plant), opioid deaths rose in 2017 even as they fell across the state to eight-year lows. Who knows the effects of a closing of this magnitude on the valley? I would not imagine them to be great, even if this is pure conjecture.

Now, I must note that I have a bias here — Ohio is where I spent the vast majority of my life, and even if I was on the other side of the state, I care about all portions of the state. Even with that bias, we should care about the fact that people are about to lose their livelihoods.

This has the potential to make families struggling to make ends meet destitute. President Trump said last year that people should not sell their homes and that all of the jobs were going to return.

Someone needs to make sure these people do not lose their jobs. Reprioritize, add a different product or SOMETHING. People's lives are at stake, and we should stand for no less than the defense of these workers.

I stand with the Lordstown workers. I hope those reading this do too.

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