Hooked on clickbait

hooked on clickbait

hooked on clickbait

The reason for her rant? Just one minute in and you’ll see…

“I was scrolling on the Net one day; In the merry, merry month of May. I was taken by surprise, with so many headline “whys;” Scrolling through the Net one day…” – Lynne Cobb

When she sees clickbait, she instantly…

By nature, I have always been inquisitive. At the ripe old age of, um, 11 years-old, you’d find me reading the newspaper, with a keen love of the Dear Abby and Ann Landers’ columns. The headlines would attract me, and I couldn’t wait to read the sage advice of these opinionated ladies.

Of course, I loved the opinion page, too. Raging debates among readers, especially in sound-off type columns, were another addiction of mine. Catchy deadlines would draw me in, so, it is really no surprise that now, with the world at my fingertips, I am never more than a click away from reading some crazy content.

Headlines have always befuddled me. I love to write, but finding the perfect headline can cost me hours of thought time. And now, as I prepare to lead a social media class for boomers and beyond, I find myself getting hooked on headlines that I know are going to disappoint me, and waste my time. Yet, I can’t not click…

When you hear the reason why she wrote this…

If you didn’t know it, clickbait is the term used for headlines that lead one to read the most insane copy posted on the Internet. For those who need a definition, here you go:

click·bait: /ˈklikbāt/ Noun; informal (on the Internet) content, especially that of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page.

So while I have been diligently searching for some examples of clickbait to use in my presentation, I have kind of become a statistic. And a junkie. My name is Lynne, and I am hooked on clickbait.

I mean, who wouldn’t click on jewels like these:

  • The crazy food that will make you lose 15 pounds in one…
  • She discovers her husband doing this, and what happens next…
  • The secret that dermatologists don’t want you to know is hiding…
  • He grabs a microphone and what happens next…
  • The top 12 reasons why you should…

It used to be the off-the-wall Websites that used this nonsense to grab readers’ attention. But recently I have even seen major news organizations use this tactic! Ugh! Please make it stop! Though, to be fair, if the strategy didn’t work, they wouldn’t be using it.

You will not believe what blogger discovers during important…

Admitting that you have a problem is the first step in healing, right? So, knowing that I can’t always control my finger from clicking, I have resorted to hiding my mouse and tying my arm behind my back, then using a blindfold bound around my head. Ok – not true. But sometimes I really do close my eyes and scroll past the temptation. Instead of actually clicking the story, I peruse the comments to determine if reading the content is worth my time. Then I develop another problem – I get sucked into the comments sphere! Help!!!

When soul-searching her problem, what she does next inspires…

 Okay. So I admitted that I can’t come up with awesome headlines, and that I am a sucker for clickbait. But what I discovered about myself in the process is so awe-inspiring! So remarkable!

 She realized she could drive traffic to her blog with one simple hack…

 Really, it’s true! Every headline on this page, I made up myself! So I can write to my heart’s content, slap some silly gimmick headline on it, match up my SEO and be viral in a moment! Woot! Yay, me!!!

What she shares with her readers will bring you to…

Seriously, I wouldn’t do that to you. Yes, I want to be a rich and famous, well-known writer. So, no, I won’t resort to these guerrilla tactics to get likes and views and all kinds of accolades. I will go back to wasting precious hours working on the perfect headline. Unless, of course, I just go and click over here read for a moment and get distracted for some, um, inspiration….

© Lynne Cobb – 2015

Have you fallen victim to clickbait? Are you, dare I say, hooked? Share your experiences with the rest of the world in the comment section J

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4 Responses to Hooked on clickbait

  1. Pam Houghton says:

    Great topic, Lynne! I hate that clickbait. Some days, I hate the Internet! I don’t sound bitter, do I? 🙂
    Pam Houghton recently posted…Writerly Stuff, Bond Renewal and Otherwise Playing Catch-upMy Profile

  2. Katy Kozee says:

    I have the worst time writing headlines for my own posts and yet I’m sucked into the other ones all too frequently. Comments too – although they so often make cry for America. I have finally learned at last there is no weird food that will help me lose weight.
    Katy Kozee recently posted…My 10 Favorite Things at Trader Joe’s for Empty NestersMy Profile

    • LynneCobb says:

      Oh my gosh! Glad you can relate! Why are headlines so dang difficult to write? Ps… I weep for America when I read the comments.

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