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Click-Bait – Why?

Most of us know what click-bait is – that online headline that entices us to click on it.  Interestingly, news websites seem to be the biggest users of it.  Maybe it’s simply for the revenue they make – why else would they be there?

Most of these click-baits have a great heading that pips your interest.  But when you click on it, it is just another website crammed fill of more click-bait ads.  The story that interested you initially is usually told over many pages that you have to click though and these stories never as good as they portray.

So why does it work?  It has to work, for it to keep going.  In fact, it works so well that “proper” news websites use the same kind of tactic with their own stories.  Is it because we love conflict or intrigue or gossip?  Probably all those things and more.

Just like the media ads that bombard us preaching how good life is with their product or service; we are surrounded.  Why do we fall for their lies?  I tried a deodorant once and never had women chasing me.  Using a particular insurance company didn’t make me sing.  Most banks didn’t want to know me when I first wanted a mortgage – so no happy skipping into a new home.

We get sucked in time and time again.  If we didn’t, they would stop.  It feels like it’s getting worse.    Why does it arouse our interest so easily?

Fish ignoring bait

I decided to try my best not to click on links that are basically a waste of time (not that I don’t waste time in other ways).  I realised that I don’t actually care about the personal lives of celebrities.  There are some news stories that aren’t actually news at all.  Sometimes I even tell ads on TV that they are not right, “No one dances because we have KFC” (too expensive anyway).

Death has a very blunt manner of showing people what is truly important to them.  Many of the things we think are so important and what we spend so much time and energy pursuing become the last things we want when death is near.  It is so true that the little things in life become the all-important things.  Enjoying a sunny day, having a coffee with friends, having real conversations, just living…

The crazy thing is that while we are not thinking about death, we so often don’t appreciate these small things.  Perhaps we just take it for granted without realising how important these small things are.  So much more important than the toothpaste you choose.

The internet is full of stories that won’t do anything positive (there are a few that will).  So be selective and don’t underestimate the value of the small things in your life.  In the end they will be the things you will hold onto the most.