A little while ago, yet another set of Facebook questionnaires showed up. This set has to do with movies of different genres and how many of those movies you’ve seen. I like movies; in fact, I even love a few of them. Thanks to some of the movies in this myriad of checklists, I’ve gotten to witness one of the greatest kisses of all time, traveled in a galaxy far, far away and even journeyed where no man has gone before; but why should you care? Am I a better person because I’ve seen more of the most popular 80s movies than you? Do I get an extra shot of espresso in my fru-fru coffee drink if I can prove that I have seen more of the all time greatest comedies than anyone else in the store? The answer is not only no, but hell no!
These types of checklists are nothing new and it isn’t like this little article of mine is going to change things, but let’s take a look into the darker side of these lists. First, I’m convinced they are part of a phishing scheme. Facebook needs to make money, and what better way to do it than to charge companies like Apple, Amazon, and Netflix to host checklists like these? What, you thought they did it out of the goodness of their own hearts? That is precious! Now the genius of this is that this one tugs at you on several levels. First hook has to do with curiosity, who doesn’t want to know what the top 50 top grossing movies of all time were? Sure you could Google it, but it is much easier to just click on it on Facebook.
Okay, so you whored yourself out so you wouldn’t have to Google the top 50 best reviewed movies of all time. Now, this is where things get really devious. First, who is the authority producing these lists? Remember liars always figure and figures always lie. What, Better Off Dead didn’t make the top 50 best movies of the 80s? Who are the clowns who made these lists up? I’ll tell you who makes them up, some marketing firm full of people who work for an agency that gets paid by the big three to try to sell movies or subscriptions. Then where do you think the results of these lists go? I can assure you that they don’t just disappear, first and foremost they show up in the add section of your Facebook page, then they go to the big three and whomever else is willing to pay to find out what kinds of movies you watch and how they can sell you more.
I know this isn’t news to most of you, however think for a few second about how valuable your time is. Did you get any benefit from taking one of these list “challenges”? Yes you did, you got bragging rights — which, last time I checked, have no value outside of the elementary school playground. But other than that, you simply made life easier for a bunch of people to try to take your money and to call you right in the middle of dinner. Hey but who cares right? I mean, it only took 5 minutes, it was fun, and you get to post your results on all of the social media sights you frequent. The best benfit of all of these movie challenges is that you get to share it with people like me, you get to show your geek cred, flaunt how much of a cenifile you are, and lucky us we get to “listen” to you gloat, we get to see it on your feed and then we want to try to take the quiz, because we want to see what movies are on the list, and we want to see if we have seen just one more than you. Well played, List Challenges, well played.