We all love a fact and like to keep in touch with the news and what friends are up to, but reading numeral narratives is The New Thing; and it is going viral on a phone near you, fact.
If I pick up my phone to use it for its original purpose - to actually ring someone, the temptation is to just have a peek at my newsfeeds. I then get sidetracked and find myself scrolling through '14 of the Most Hilarious Mullet Hairstyles, Ever', but why?
1. We love a headline
They've been selling papers and magazines for decades. We are easily bought by the drama and sensationalism of news titles. Couple them with digits and it sort of makes them a bit more appealing. Despite knowing that when we turn that page or click on that link, all is not as it seems; we just can't help ourselves...
Albeit for 2 minutes but reading '12 of the Most Idyllic Holiday Locations' wiles away that Post Office queue/train journey/boring meeting, etc. Especially if there is a quiz involved - which city did you get?
3. They are digestible
We are all so busy in our day-to-day lives; reading by numbers in bite-sized pieces helps us to easily digest the information. In reality, what you're reading is probably the same length as an article you would have otherwise avoided, but punctuate the print with some figures and you're onto a winner.
Most of the time, these number related features are quite funny and we do like a 'LOL' moment. Let's face it; news in general can be pretty negative so something light-hearted and utterly useless to know helps us get on with our day.
5. They make us more social
They are super easy to share on social networks and more often than not; you think of someone who would appreciate it (you're thinking of someone right now). You can also put your preference on a number you like and share with your friends, e.g. 'Number 7 is so you!'
(See intro). They help us in social situations, like a 'water cooler effect', we are being 'current' if a little trendy; we can chat to our friends or colleagues about little well-known facts we've found out, particularly if someone else has seen the same thing.
7. Size is important
(Also see point 3). You're reading the list because it is short 'n' snappy. But the balance has to be right: you're not interested in '142 Ways to Increase Your Profit Margins'. Equally, '3 Ways to Lose 3lbs' is not enough substance to grab your interest.
You've got to phone the bank but wait a moment; watching '7 of the Funniest Fails in Planking' must take priority.
9. Because you can
Because before the technology existed, you couldn't, and now it's changing the way we receive and send information. News is mainly spread virally so if someone else is reading it, you feel like you need to be in the know too.
10. The Count was onto something
Sesame Street's character, The Count was obsessed with totting up a tally (I'm hearing 'ah ah ah' in my head). Counting is a universal language.
Finally, the figure that sums it up...
11. We simply love a chart
Countdowns, tops 10s, top 40s, top 100s, Top Trumps, Top of the Pops; they are all are addictive. You can't help watching the top 100 countdowns that appear on telly - usually late on a Sunday night and finish around 2am - you just can't resist staying up to find out what number 1 is, despite not giving a flying fish about the subject. We cherish a chart.
Thanks for reading, have a good day.