Bimbo Banter

The Same Rules Apply

  • Trends
  • March 19, 2015
  • by Emily Turner

In a world of ever-shrinking attention spans, one of the most effective ways to share a snapshot of information is through infographics.

I love infographics to the point that I subscribe to a free daily service. I review these for inspiration for clients and am currently working on an infographic for a speech using However, one of the most recent infographics I received perpetuated a negative stereotype so thoroughly that I’m afraid its main point was lost in translation.

The title of this particular infographic read: The Online College Student: Not as Lazy as You Thought (click to view the full infographic). I hadn’t originally thought that online students were lazy, but now that you say so, please tell me more.

Following the catchy title, this infographic features “five stereotypes of the online learner.” Each stereotype reads like a mean comedian’s opening set and the accompanying pictures are so negative that a quick perusal leaves the reader believing online college students are indeed lazy!

This is our BIMBO principle in action. Even if you deny a negative, the listener (or in this case, reader) drops the denial and only remembers the negative. Let’s look at the five stereotypes for further confirmation that these headlines missed the mark.

  1. Online students aren’t smart enough for a traditional education
  2. Online students are simply “buying” a degree
  3. Online learners are just weirdoes who don’t want “real” degrees
  4. Online learners are just slackers
    And, my personal favorite:
  5. Online learners are antisocial basement dwellers

The accompanying pictures include a depressed-looking fellow wearing a dunce cap and another of him in a banana suit, which I still haven’t quite figured out. The sad but true result of this attempt at combating an unfortunate stereotype is that the negative graphics and headlines were so powerful that they only served to perpetuate the myths.

If you took the time to carefully read the piece in its entirety, you’d learn lots of wonderful information. But infographics are designed to be skimmed, making our lesson of choosing your words carefully even that much more imperative.

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