Like most college students, I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Like most Facebook users, my timeline has recently become littered with articles from BuzzFeed.com, a social news and entertainment website. Most articles have headlines that tell you how you should feel while reading the article: “22 Magical Facts That Will Make You Want to Move to Norway.” Usually, they have a random number thrown on the beginning of the headline.
22? Really? I’m sure Norway has 25 magical facts that will make me want to leave Indiana.
My friend posted an interesting Buzzfeed-esque article the other day on her Facebook, and it received several “likes.” It discussed questions you must ask your significant other in order to maintain your relationship. It seemed harmless, and I most definitely want to maintain my relationship with my significant other, so I popped one of the questions to my girlfriend.
“Were you ever lonely today?” I asked.
I paused, anticipating her compliment to my romanticism. I searched the room, looking for tissues just in case she would cry about how sweet I am. Surely, that question from the Buzzfeed article would make me her #mcm (Man Crush Monday) on Instagram.
“What?” she asked.
I repeated the question.
“No,” she said. “That’s weird. Stop being dumb.”
In fear of losing my legitimacy in our relationship, I quickly clarified where that question came from. It was an awkward moment, considering our relationship started because of my obvious charm and humility, not an entertainment website’s advice.
But our Instagram-crazy, selfie-obsessed generation eats this Buzzfeed advice right up. It’s frightening, especially when you think about how many relationships could have formed had the guy not asked the girl “Where there any times that you felt proud of yourself?” (Yes, there was a spelling error in the “professional” article.) On top of that, we’re starting to ignore the art of forming our own opinions about articles. Instead of telling me how I should feel in “35 Old-School Latino Albums You Probably Forgot About,” let me read the article and decide for myself whether or not I forgot about Vicente Fernandez’s “Hoy Platique con Mi Gallo.”
There’s a reason the Huntingtonian does not publish articles that tell you how you should feel. Readers can formulate their own opinions. That’s what makes professional journalism unique.
Buzzfeed is trying to move toward more hard news writing, and with headlines like “There is an Underwater Hotel Room in the Middle of The Indian Ocean, and You Can Stay There,” it’s clear the creators are a long way off. For now, I’ll stick with reading Buzzfeed articles for pure entertainment, rather than sound relationship advice. This should be no problem with enticing articles such as “Why Are You Single?”
Jared Huhta is a junior history education major. He can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. This column reflects the views of the writer only.