The End Of BuzzFeed? Why Lists Might Not Be Able to Go On Forever


Somewhere in my daily routine, between brushing my teeth and putting on the requisite blazer intended to make me look like a professional woman (which actually has an affect closer to me looking like a child dressed up in her mother’s clothes), I now set aside time for reading BuzzFeed. Though I try to integrate it into my hour spent reading the news, I inevitably drift back to the comforting embrace of “12 Cats Who Look Like Buddha” when the New York Times seems like too much to bear.

And when BuzzFeed writes a list titled, Top 9 Signs You Went to the College That You Went To, and number one is, "When you look in your closet, you have lots of apparel with the name of your college on it," has this phenomenon run its course? Or at least, is it becoming inane, repetitive, and far too mainstream?


But BuzzFeed still applies to our innate human characteristics. We live in the digital age, the age of social media, and the age of instant gratification. Recent studies have explored this phenomenon and considered why some things go viral and others are relegated to only a footnote in history. In his article in The New Yorker last week, Atul Gawande looked through the history books to see why some innovations picked up speed, even before the age of technological innovation. It seems almost random; but there appears to be a greater chance of success when you draw on something fundamental to human nature — like social interaction or food (two things BuzzFeed does spectacularly).

BuzzFeed has its limits. The list articles infused with sass, pop culture references, and a wealth of movie stills can only have so much originality. You have to assume that the content is inherently limited. And, much like that moment when you realize your childhood role model is not perfect (Guys, Amanda Bynes is really having a rough time right now), I must accept BuzzFeed’s flaws. There was that awkward time when BuzzFeed was so pressed for news that it went all meta on us and produced the “18 Hardest Things About Making A BuzzFeed Post”. And you can’t forget the endless supply of “10 things that people from (insert: state, country, college, relatable situation) know to be true” which get undeniably tedious and warrant no more than a passing glance.

But I’m still on BuzzFeed every day. When I need a break from the exhausting act of pretending to be an adult and the long hours of feigning responsibility, BuzzFeed is there to soothe the pain with Mean Girls GIFs, and sloths, and pictures of food that make me want to lick the screen. And many feel that if the system of breaking news is broken, than BuzzFeed could be the answer. BuzzFeed does seem to know what is happening in the world before it even happens. It certainly anticipates my needs. I didn’t even know that I needed the cronut in my life before BuzzFeed introduced us.