Top 10 reasons why we love ‘Top 10 Lists’. | Photo by Huffingtonpost.com.

No one really knows how the idea for lists came around (although there was a slight mention of David Letterman’s name), and if there is a specific number of points per list. Can you imagine trying to think of top 10 reasons why you love ‘Top 10’ lists with top 10 explanations to support your top 10 reasons? Okay, that’s a lot of “top 10’s” flying around.

I like lists too, but I prefer reading them than generating ideas and coming up with them. When you think about it, we do use a lot of lists in our lives. These lists exist almost everywhere too, from instruction manuals to why some people prefer e-readers to physical books. You can even find lists on Spongebob Squarepants! He is so meticulous that he has drawn up a really long list just for planning a surprise party! We all love lists, don’t you? Especially the top variety kind of lists. But I don’t always gravitate towards ten reasons. Ten isn’t always the lucky number. Sometimes I like to go for less or more. Depends what I’m looking for, really.

Top 8 Reasons to Love Lists:

  1. They give us a sense of control – this is probably more of a perception than it is a reality, but lists seem to bring order to chaos. Lists keep us safe.
  2. They help in memory and thought organization – I always have a need to write things down in a notepad in point-form because if I didn’t, I’d forget what I was supposed to do in the first place. Lists help to organize big chunks of information into smaller and easily digestable portions.
  3. They help us get things done – think of when you’re about to do your monthly groceries but can’t remember what you were planning on buying. Lists help you get what you need by simply ticking off the boxes, which goes to show that you’ve actually bought the item and therefore, need not buy it again until the following month.
  4. They feed our ego – it makes us feel important because only with a list that you know you have plenty to do. And once you’ve accomplished every task on that list, you feel like you’ve accomplished your mission of saving the world from evil and now deserve to go on a long holiday to recharge.
  5. They get people’s attention – put two pieces of content in front of someone and get the person to read it. One is a paragraph on how to open a bank account and the other is a list of bullet points or steps on how to open a bank account. I’m pretty sure your friend will read the list and not the paragraph. Lists dissect the information for you.
  6. They are flexible – lists can be just about anything and everything under the sky. Recipes use lists. Instruction manuals from IKEA use lists too (plus some rough sketches). Travel websites use lists to tell you the top destinations to go to before you die. Heck, I’m pretty sure writing wills will have lists too!
  7. They are convenient – not everyone wants to tell long grandmother stories and not everyone wants to hear them either. In line with Point No. 8, lists are convenient when it comes to getting your “point” across (pun intended).
  8. They make us love them more – what’s not to love about lists? They make it very easy when it comes to presentations. Are you really going to read that whole paragraph to your audience? Or just prattle off the points on your list (with some sort of story to go with it)?

Why I chose 8 reasons is not because I’m a fastidious and superstitious Malaysian Chinese but because lists are good people and deserve to share the limelight with SEO and Social Media. If you want to convince your client on why he should hire you as a Social Media Consultant, that list of reasons for your skills will come in very handy for you.

Source: Reasons are from CBS News: Money Watch. Explanations are mine.

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