Too Many Rules, Too Many Lists

This past year, the blogging community has been responsible for the now popular posts that spread like wildfire via shares on Facebook…. they range in topic but most generally they are “How To” lists posing as guides aimed at the 20-something year old impressionable reader.

In fairness these lists of golden “wisdom” are entertaining tid-bits written about what is now and what most of my peers would consider pressing and climax building dilemmas for which clarity would be much appreciated. And for many, yes, these lists permits one to ponder on the suggested solutions and how they relate to their lives. Sub-sequentially, the individuals proceed to like and share the post so that others in the same complexity may unwind and turn from the ledge.

I have read my fair share of these “answers” and in the beginning, I too found them insightful, interesting, and written in a way that allows me to get through it without the feeling that I have to think too much…after all this is supposed to be like opening a fortune cookie: fun, easy, quick to take in. But now that daily I am bombarded, I am looking at them with new eyes, and it is simply far too much.

Too much nonsense, too much pretentiousness, too much agenda pushing and too much advice from those that are unqualified to give it. Self expression is not the issue as much as it is how easily we swallow pills the size of us. In other words, why am I reading an article about how I should be living my 20’s by an author who is barely 23? Why are we reading about how to make the most of our college experience by someone who has not declared their major? Why am I being told that now is the time to sleep around and make mistakes by someone that was kicked out of their home because of the very same reasons? When is it appropriate to share these lessons even if they may be correct?

One of the reasons why I find it to be such a pedantic authoritative epidemic is because as one writes their opinion, the other writes in opposition with the same voice of total sureness. For every, “Why you should get married at 23” there is the “Why you should be single for all of your 20’s”. What ends up happening is a supersaturated cloud of convenient explanations for “you” and not many authentic, individual, or guiding ideas at all. 

Before the internet, all we had were the books and the knowledge from people who could really point us towards success. And if you did not have that, you had Life. As simple as that, you rode the wave and found out things as they came and how it fit into your personal path (as it should). What I see within the myriad of different “should” is an misguided attempt to define life, or find its cheat sheet such in a way that is both offensive and comical : Cliff Notes: LIFE You can beat it! 

Right now its for the 20’s, but it is simply a reflection of our generation. In ten years, it could be “What to expect in your 30’s” and so on. Life is a chaotic, unruly nymph that seduces us and shows us the marvels of the universe, the good and the bad, and a thousand times more complex than the internet. Googling for life should be a limited concept if you consider that the authors are not gods, not 1,000 year old men, not connoisseurs of great adventurous tales on hand with the Iliad but regular people just like us with average lifespans and limited experiences.

I do not presume to be another chief in this tribe but I had to request clarity because there has been an excess in laws and I could not keep up.


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