n Things You Need To Know About x

This is going to sound extra-grumpy, but really isn’t meant to be. But in for a penny …

Social media, click-driven advertising and viral marketing combined with a healthy dose of saccharine gloop have combined to create an unholy spawn of “n Things You Need To Know About x”.

They’re usually about professions with a vocational tinge to them (teachers, nurses, pastors etc.), and usually ones that are perceived as relatively modestly rewarded in fiscal and status terms. And by and large they tend to make good points. I don’t want to detract from any feel-good glow, encouragement, or virtual hug that anyone gains from them. It’s nice to be recognised, and it should happen more often.

But … here’s the thing. There’s 1 Thing You Need To Know About Most People. Particularly most people who are going to be in the social circles who will see all the other lists. We’re all working our nuts off, we’re all under-appreciated, those of us who volunteer in the organisations others work in do so on top of busy jobs and home circumstances. So whilst a lot of people (well, me at any rate) will read these lists and think “Yup, that’s true, I need to show X a little more appreciation because (s)he’s a bit special” there will be a tiny part of the brain thinking “Feck off, it’s not like they’re a breed apart”. Because what the lists do, rightly or wrongly, isn’t just big-up the targets; they implicitly denigrate the reader, placing them on a lower rung on the ladder of wondefulness.

Well, screw that.

So there’s One More Thing You Need To Know. You are special. And wonderful. And under-valued. And marvellous. But so is pretty much everyone else. So Go Team People, and bugger off to divisive self-aggrandising wank.