The internet is flooded with such aphorisms. Taking cue from the Ten Commandments of God, the rule of ten is now the ‘in’ thing.
It has become quite cumbersome to explain one’s views in a paragraph or essay one’s opinions or write long-winded articles about things and ideas. Since, everything is getting condensed further and further, what with time crunches looming large, the age of 2-minute maggie and 5-minute ready-to-eat food items has graduated to lesser and more brusque, to-the-point communications and hence, numerical tips instead of well-expounded theories have gained centrestage. I think the idea of bullet point articles has roots in the concept of packing a lot of things in very less space and time as well as catching the eye of those who would prefer images and videos to the written word. True, when a heading of the likes of ’10 ways to lose weight’ appears somewhere, it instantly grabs eyeballs and a great deal of attention. Perhaps that’s what it set out to do initially. To behave as a come-on and to garner publicity.
But as they say, excess of everything is not exactly a great idea. So, when you find such 10 points everywhere saying 10 things about men you don’t know or 10 things about women you need to know or 10 tips to score more, it drives you crazy.
You start feeling dread the moment you see the binary system etched at the rubric of an article. Is it really worth paying attention to every 10 tips that shout at you from your facebook newsfeed or timeline? Doesn’t it feel like those 10 formulae we were required to memorize before the exams or the 10-point summary we chose to mug up before sitting to write a paper? I think the idea of numericizing an article is lost when so much of these bullet points start emerging at every nook and corner of the internet. There is a compulsive sensation to quickly read up on these 10 steps or those 10 rules, which makes us end up wasting more time than we would generally do after reading a piece. Sure, it has helped the sly pundits of content creation in enchanting readers. But do those 10 points really have anything worthy to contribute to your knowledge or experience other than trashy forcibly framed points?
For instance, let us take the following piece: ‘10 reasons why you gain weight’ (10?? I know a hundred!)
- You eat anything and everything that is placed before you. (Really? That was an eye-opener! I had no idea eating made me gain weight!)
- Colas and Campas are your favorites. (Wow! This one is a psychologist! Knows me through and through!)
- You consume a lot of fast foods and junk items. (Did you see me go to ‘Burger King’ or what?)
- You like to eat large meals. (You are on a roll!)
- Alcohol consumption is bad for your weight. (A 5-year-old could have told me that much)
- You can’t keep your hands off candies and chocolates. (You are a genius, seriously!)
- You eat when you are depressed. (True that!)
- You eat when you happy. (True that as well!)
- You eat whenever you get time. (Your point is too well made)
- You don’t like to share your food. (You are bang-on!)
Was there anything in the above 10 points that you didn’t know before you read them? Well, that is what the trend of ten does.
It just makes you believe that somehow those 10 points were too vital for you to know. Voila! They win! I think there should be another set of 10 points to describe the 10 things that you should do to avoid the trend of ‘10 things’!