“Hey Clickbait, there’s something wrong with you.”
~ internet of things
From viewing today’s twitter feed:
@wrongwrong – You’re doing abs all wrong (running, exercising, eating, etc)
@wrongfood – Forget everything you know about food.
@wrongway – Why you are not getting the belly you want – 6 weeks to a flat belly!
@wrongsecret – Secret yoga poses to lean you out.
@secretscience – 6 foods for 6-pack abs
@buymyshit – Try this at night, you’ll wake up gorgeous.
@glamsquadtricks – Celebrity secrets to the beach body you want.
Scroll down the timeline. Click on the link. Read. Click on another super sounding link. Read. It’s a different sensational headline about how I am not doing this or that right, how I should change, be better, be like this, and be like that. What you are really telling me is I’m broken – and I need your help. I need your product, your fix, to be all that I should be. I’m not good enough. I better click and see what I’m missing. Yes, I am somewhat insecure, and self-conscious about what I see in the mirror. I don’t look like any of the women in the magazines or the advertising. If only I try this or that …
STOP. What the hell is going on? Smart advertising, neuro marketing, that’s what. Slick images that are photo-shopped, or even completely computer generated. Teaser phrasing – and wording to pique your curiosity. Professional athletes, or fitness models/competitors that spend hours every day in the gym. Don’t think for a minute these advertisers haven’t done their research, and know you are scrolling through the social media feeds until some headline captures your attention, or hits home (my hips) a certain way. Wait, I can re-shape my hips with one easy to use product? Before and after pics don’t ever lie … right?
It’s called Clickbait. And it’s effective. Let’s explore.
Clickbait is a pejorative term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social networks. Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the “curiosity gap”, providing just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content.
The key words here, quality and accuracy. Sounds like we digressed to the current state of politics, right? Well, the 80/20 rule applies here. 80% of what you’re clicking through on these sensational headlines doesn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny. Simply put, its bullshit, designed to get you on the path of a purchase somewhere down the road. If you re-tweet or ‘like” – it’s more likely for your friends to think you’ve researched or checked this out already, so a peer endorsement is way better than an advertiser’s claim. That’s where the socially influencing systems are at work, spreading junk science to the masses, many times without the re-poster even being aware that the claim is false. We want easy, we yearn for shortcuts – this is the society we live in.
The truth is … there is truth, and there is bullshit. The old saying, ‘if it sounds too good to be true’ has stood the test of time. You are worth more – take the time to do your own research on the facts before you try, or buy. Be your own best advocate. Question everything. There’s no one size fits all. You’re not doing everything wrong. You are doing many things right – reward yourself for that. At the end of the day, it really is all about those small daily smart decisions that add up over time, to significant change. You are not clickbait, you are smarter than that. Stay curious. Adapt good things into your world as you find them. Designing your life, your way, takes time. Have fun with the process!