1. No Time Left for You - Writers know you don't like to invest time in things like reading. Waiting for an author to develop a sound argument through paragraphs of questions, information, and conclusions is so 1950's. Lists provide the shallow relationship that we in America love so much. You can read the headings in the list to get the authors idea. If you don't life the heading you can end your commitment to the article there, but if you are intrigued you are invited to read more.
2. Instant Wisdom - Lists are magical. For some reason deep down inside we believe if we grasp all the concepts in a list, apply them to our life, then our life will become better. Whether the list is about dieting or relationships, we feel that if we can just grasp the lists concepts we will master our troubles.
3. Readership, Readership, Readership - Clicks. Online literature is measured not by usefulness nor accurate information. Online articles are all about the clicks. No one really cares if you read the article, as long as you click it. This encourages more people to write more lists which simply feeds our addiction. When we see an article has become viral, we begin to think it must have useful and accurate.
4. Imagination Termination - Lists require no creativity, only a number, followed by a period and some vague information. Lists mean the writer can be lazy. If the writer can be lazy and quickly crank out an article it leaves more time for the author to read their own lists or create more.
5. Numbers are reputable - Lists have a way of creating a sense of accurate undisputable information. Many of the lists online are simply opinions, but if you number your points they instantly become hard tested truths in the minds of readers.This is why lists are so popular, but leave us feeling empty inside when we are done.