How many posts in your Facebook feed start with “You’ll never believe what happened when…?”
Clickbait posts are the worst. They tell us, “If you click on this post you will have your mind blown!” Most of the clickbait posts on Facebook have to do with politics, sporting events or celebrities.
I can’t stand clickbait for a few reasons.
First, it always promises more than it can deliver. There are very few things in life that I have had a difficult time believing. Petra in Jordan is probably the most amazing place I have ever been; it was nearly unbelievable. Somehow I don’t think that a post about what Obama did or didn’t say is going to come close to Petra.
Second, clickbait posts address our impulsive desires. Like candy bars at the grocery store or emails from Amazon, clickbait posts want us to be impulsive. Those posts want us to abandon whatever plans we had to not view their content, and then give into the desire to see what we’re missing out on.
Third, clickbait posts are usually about something that doesn’t really matter. I don’t really care what Miley Cyrus did and how people responded. The Internet is a powerful tool, but clickbait turns it into a vending machine for drivel. We can use social media to connect with and encourage those around us, but clickbait would have us use them to share one-sided views or stories about vapid celebrities.
Due to the overwhelming presence of clickbait, Facebook is almost useless. I love social media and how they can draw people together, but clickbait could be their downfall. Instead of trying to get people to watch inane and vapid videos, we should use social media to encourage and engage with others.
How do you feel about clickbait posts?