I really, really, really hate clickbait headlines. You know, those things that are worded in just the right way to make it so you can’t help but click.
The latest one that got me today was: “Why Our Ancestors Built Round Houses and Why it Still Makes Sense to Build Round Structures Today.” Spoiler: they’re less likely to blow down. Interesting, but not crucial information.
With clickbait there’s this promise that the information inside might change your life and if you don’t click, you’ll have missed out on some incredible insight. Of course, the results seldom live up to the promise. But the content is often just interesting enough to keep you clicking on the next headline that comes your way.
So far, none have changed my life. And clickbait has become pervasive enough (and distracting enough) that I try not to click on any of it. Otherwise I would never get anything done. It’s also why I rarely let myself go on sites like Reddit.
We live in an age of instant gratification, immediate entertainment, and quickly shrinking attention spans. And it really bums me out.
To make matters worse, I was trying to think of things to write about for my new blog and was drawing a blank. I googled for help (as is my default) and came across this site: Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator.
It’s a blog post generator and every suggestion it gives you is the worst type of clickbait out there. The type you know is being written not because people care about the words their vomiting onto the internet, but because they need eyeballs. They’re like internet zombies.
MUST HAVE EYEBALLS.
I took the generator seriously at first (it appears to take itself very seriously) and plugged in three things I might like to write about, as prompted: Adventures, Camping, and Trees. I got the following suggestions:
- Think You’re Cut Out For Doing Adventures? Take This Quiz
- 20 Myths About Camping
- What Will Trees Be Like In 100 Years
- 7 Things About Camping Your Boss Doesn’t Want You to Know
- 15 Best Blogs To Follow About Trees
I immediately wanted to cry. This is the pinnacle of human thought and ingenuity up until now? Thousands of years of refinement and this is where we ended up?
I decided to try some different inputs and much preferred the results:
- 10 Signs You Should Invest In Batshit
- 5 Tools Everyone In The Dumb Industry Should be Using
- Why We Love ‘Please No’ (And You Should, Too!)
- 14 Common Misconceptions About Batshit
- The History Of Dumb
So, that was my fun activity for the day. And I got a blog post out of it after all. I guess the blog topic generator worked?
Until next time.
Death to clickbait,