You have seen them. The 'Me = Better Than You' articles. The 'my elitist book is better than your mainstream book' articles. The 'I stalked this blogger because she was mean to me (but not really- she just reviewed my book *honestly*)' article. The 'YA is not for Adults, because I said so and my opinion is the bestest (
I hate very few things in this world, mostly suffering and ignorance, mean people, corn syrup, doctors without empathy, mice who hide in my closet, people who abuse animals, - you get the picture. Most of my hates are relatively mainstream or a result of experience, but one true flaming hatred burnt up my empathy the other day- clickbait.
Clickbait is a relatively new phenomena that evolved with the internet's trove of trolls. It would not survive if the internet's users didn't stop clicking the 'bait'. But curiosity kills the cat, and perpetuates the clickbait. We want to know things. The internet is full of interesting information. Unfortunately, most clickbait articles aren't actually based on facts- much like this Confession, they are based on opinions. And when we keep on clicking them, the clickbait-life-cycle rides again.
|Not to be confused with 'the life cycle of greedy trolls'.|
Every internet citizen plays a role in the life cycle of clickbait. Everyone of us, except those few who don't take the bait, and refuse to click. I aspire to be one of those people.
When I read a clickbait article, I am more likely to get angry than to feel happy about the opinions expressed therein. It takes time to read a clickbait article- time I could use for checking up on my favorite blogs, or reading my next favorite book. In summary, clickbait does nothing for me except waste my time and sour my mood- so why do I keep clicking?
The short answer: I am human.
The long answer: Clickbait fuels my sense of righteous anger, which, in part, fuels my ambition, which helps me write this blog, which I've been meaning to keep on writing, even if my posts air a little later than I want them to. But, I have plenty of righteous anger- I'm just born that way. I guess I click clickbait because I'm human.
Although I am human, I now realize I'm playing a part in my arch-nemeses continuing reign of pseudo-journalistic terror. I intend to stop it *right after I click that article on-* right now. I'm no longer interested in articles that are deliberately contrarian, offensive, stupid, boorish, or otherwise troll-written. It will not be easy, as I know the next author-who-writes-a-badly-thought-out-article will be due for a comeback any day now, but I trust that I won't need to see it. Enough people can be righteously angry in my place.