“No one gives a shit about your best moments of the year.” This is the thought that comes to the mind of everyone who sees about 5 similar posts in their feed on social media. The usefulness of such lists isn't obvious: are people bragging or just fooling around? In this article, we reflect on the topic of the lists of the best moments of the year, what drives those who create their personal top-lists, and how they can be useful to us.
Making lists seems like a thing for privileged people. Only real experts can pick out the top ten books or paintings. But if you study the nature of this listing phenomenon, you can find out that people of any age tend to organize everything around them.
Making lists is a more grown-up version of children's play of arranging toys in orderly rows. Both adult and children's game has one ultimate goal — to organize the surrounding chaos. The annual lists vulgarized this game and took it to the point of absurdity. We mark every December 31 as the end of the year and document our desires and intentions with the help of a list of plans. It is a pure manifestation of our need to streamline our experiences.
Every culture has specific rituals for marking turning points in life. Even though the New Year is a holiday, a gloomy feeling that you cannot turn back time is still there. Fear of regret or change can be utterly disturbing. Lists with the best moments of the year allow us to accept and appreciate our experiences. December top-lists are the embodiment of second chances and the source of the feeling that we are doing everything right.