You won’t believe what happened next!

Aren’t you tired of headlines on Facebook and social media? You know what I mean … exaggerated headlines like, “You Will Be Shocked!”  and “You won’t believe what happened next!” These headlines are designed to make you click, so you do. And what happens? You’re not shocked; not even a little. Ever.

Surfing the net; you’ll see it everywhere! A disturbing picture with a wild statement that ‘forces’ you to click on it because you are intrigued and want to see what it’s about. Then when you get diverted to the article, you realize it has absolutely nothing to do with what you clicked on or were expecting to see!

It’s called ‘clickbait’ and the sole purpose of it is to generate page views, which in turn generates ad revenue.

Clickbait is web content aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines or eye-catching pictures to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social networks. Providing just enough information to make you curious so you’ll click through to the content. source: Wikipedia

It’s sad but true, but when it comes to clicking links online, most of us are very gullible. How many times have you seen an article in your Facebook, knowing full well that it’s likely to be nonsense but still you click on the link just to find out “what happens next” for yourself.

According to author Jonah Berger:

Click bait is bad because it overpromises and underdelivers. The content doesn’t usually live up to the bluster and in the end we’re left disappointed. So while the article itself got a few extra clicks, it undermines trust in the person or site that generated that content, making readers less likely to return in the future. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Suspicion of clickbait means you may not get clicks even if your post is legit. It’s like The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Your post may actually contain a wolf – but if no one ever clicks to find out, it doesn’t matter, does it? You’re ignored on principle.

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