4 Ways List Posts Define Millennials

Millennials10 Ways to Improve Your Relationship. 7 Exercises That Will Change Your Life. Top 20 Best Dressed Actresses at the Golden Globes. List posts seem to be the go-to format for many blog posts, and for good reason. Millennials fuel the internet more than any other generation, so we’re also fueling competition between writers seeking readers. So what is it about list posts that catch our fleeting attention? Maybe it’s the fact that we can relate to them. As weird as it seems, our preference for list posts define who we are as a generation and sum up our most prominent traits.

1. We’re overbooked.

Raise your hand if you did five zillion activities as a kid, and were constantly being shuffled from piano lessons to ballet class to your underwater basket weaving seminar. This generation was busy during childhood, and we haven’t slowed down since. Nowadays we’re so booked with school, jobs, and our underwater basket weaving graduate programs we don’t have time to read through entire articles. (Confession time: I’m horrible about this, even with blogs. If it’s more than 1,000 words, more than likely I’m going to skip it unless it’s awesome with a capital A).

2. We’re generic.

In this digital age, I think we’ve traded in some of our personality for convenience. Yes, it’s a heck of a lot easier to send a text rather than a handwritten letter or a phone call, but there’s only so much we can do to make it sound like us (no matter how many emojis you stick in your message!) Same story for list posts. They’re more convenient for readers, but it’s more difficult to gauge the writer’s personality–and isn’t personality what blogging is all about?

3. We like attention.

We invented the word “selfie.” Enough said. And list posts tend to get more attention than their numberless counterparts. Quick test: If you saw two articles side-by-side, and one was “3 Steps to Finding Great Posts” and the other was “How to Find Great Posts,” which would you choose? Be honest!

4. We have short attention spans.

Did you make it to this point in the post? Congratulations! You’ve almost finished a 400-word article! We Millennials are used to getting our information in small chunks. Whether it’s browsing posts, tweets, or headlines, we gather much of our daily knowledge one byte (ha!) at a time. After becoming accustomed to that type of info absorption, it’s tough to go back to reading “real” articles.

I’m sure these aren’t the only similarities between list posts and Millennials, so if you can think of more feel free to comment to your heart’s content.

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2 comments

  1. I love this! A million list posts floating around the Internet. Completely agree with all your points but just wanted to add that I think millennials as a group are pretty confused. Hence all the ’25 ways to…’ and ’15 things Students Do’ posts. We like lists that tell us step-by-step how to achieve something, and we particularly like lists that give us some form of validation. So, ‘omg I do that!!!’ and ‘I completely agree with #5, 8 and 97!’

    1. Thanks, Jane! Glad you liked it. You make a great point about our generation being a confused one. I think to some degree every generation is confused, because that just comes with being a young adult–no matter the time period. But I do think that Millennials tend to be more confused than older generations because soooo much has changed since we were born, and even when we were younger we lived completely different lives than our parents did at our age, which can be tough to comprehend sometimes. So we turn to list posts to prove that we really can relate to other people.

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