Why You Need To Stop Taking People’s Life Advice And Start Actually Living Your Life

Ed Yourdon
Ed Yourdon

I have had enough.

Before I rant about the countless number of articles being written and submitted to all of these user-driven content based websites offering the writer’s seemingly witty insights into the experience of life, I want to take some time out and say that I am not a 40 year old man who is jealous or has FOMO of these young twenty something year olds. I realize that writing is a necessary form of art, a tool that people need to express themselves.

However, I have been highly annoyed with the content and style of writing that seems to be perpetuating on the internet as of late.

Of course, the first time you read about the 20 reasons you know you’re this or that was kind of funny. A few things rang true and you chuckled in your head. But after a while, it seems that people are just pulling teeth to come up with content that tries to be unique whilst still maintaining that same writing structure. What we end up with is a mass collection of completely worthless articles with advice that is not applicable to anyone except maybe the writers themselves.

I especially loathe articles that try to seek validation from readers in hopes of consoling the writers’ own shortcomings. I realize that most of these writers are young and are still in the process of figuring out their lives. The transition to adulthood can be intimidating and disappointing. Childhood dreams will 99% guaranteed be shattered. And that’s okay. Jobs are hard to find unless you excelled in school or have that narrow skill set employers seek. Top that with likely student loan debt and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Yet it seems that, a lot of these independent writers, instead of actually carving out a different path to success, are twisting their situations and labeling themselves as non-conformists who are redefining the meaning of success. And instead of coming off as liberating or inspiring, their writing reeks of bitterness, of opportunities squandered, of effort not made, of a lifestyle still being supported by mommy and daddy’s money. And by writing and publishing about it online, they hope to gather common sentiments from readers and feel less unworthy about themselves. It doesn’t help that the writing style seems to follow some banal formula that is nothing short of just god-awful.

Where’s the creativity and philosophy? When did writing become so stale?

That example aside, it is my sincere hope that people will stop reading so much about how to live life from others and actually just live it. Yes, you can gather all sorts of anecdotes and advice from every one online to prepare yourself but in reality, your experiences will be uniquely yours. No article about 20 reasons why you should not go to college or 20 reasons why you should actually go to college will provide you with enough insight to make any decision- there’s too many factors to consider.

Which is why I am apalled that so many people are publishing their writing as if it should be preached as the truth. I didn’t write this to bash all articles, I am sure there are sound advice out there. I also abhor the fact that I even have to write a disclaimer at all, for fear that some people will misunderstand and make ad hominem attacks about me. If my annoyance with trite articles and message for you to live your life and take advice from them with a grain of salt is not conveyed then… oh well. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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