I fall for it all the time

Photo © Yuri Arcurs | Dreamstime.com

Oh, man, of course they’re going to be clickbait, I said to myself, but I couldn’t resist.

“Christian Watson had a massive three-word response to whether he’d be ready for the Lions,” said one headline.

“The Beatles song Paul McCartney hated most,” said the other.

The “massive” three-word response turned out to be “That’s the plan.” I never learned which song Paul disliked, because after 12-14 paragraphs I realized the headline was indeed just clickbait to get me to read a long, dull story about the history of the Beatles. There must be some algorithm that rewards clickbait writers for how deep into a story they can get the reader to read.

It’s an effective, if annoying, trick. I fall for it over and over: I think, “Oh, that looks interesting,” usually followed by, “Oh, it wasn’t.”

Of course, my next instinct was to think of a headline like that, only one that aimed to have a decent payoff for the reader.

See how I did, tomorrow.

One thought on “I fall for it all the time

  1. Me too. Sometimes they are just too hard to resist. I usually realize that they aren’t going to tell me the answer about 3 paragraphs in. Such a time waster! Wish I wasn’t such a slave to my own curiosity! 😏

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