Have you been watching the headlines lately? The ones that pop up everywhere online, from Facebook to whatever other sites there are apart from Facebook? Have you noticed a trend? Hint: These headlines don’t really tell you anything about the story they’re promoting.
Back in the day, a headline would typically sum up the gist of the story. For example:
Man, 38, loses eyebrows in a fireworks accident.
Now, that’s not a fancy headline by any stretch of the imagination. It won’t be winning any awards for artistic expression. But it provides the main details about this particular eyebrow-singeing event. There was a man, there were fireworks, there was some sort of an accident, now there are no longer any eyebrows on the man in question.
You can grasp the point of the story from that headline and move on to the next one. Or you can choose to read the story to find out whether, say, alcohol was involved (spoiler alert: there’s always alcohol involved).
Today’s headlines, however, are not there to help you easily skim the latest news. Instead, they have one single purpose: to make you click. Like so:
This drunk dad decides to experiment with dangerous fireworks and then this happens…
That’s not a headline. That’s a pilot episode of a new thriller series. It ends on a cliffhanger, forcing us to click to discover the ending. These click-bait headlines are only there to, uh, bait…for clicks. They’re not aiming to inform, they just want you to visit the site to read more. “Then why do we keep seeing these desperate cries for clicks?” you may wonder. Because they work, you nincompoop! Sorry. I just wanted to use “nincompoop” in a sentence at least once in my life. You’re probably not a nincompoop. Not that I know of.
In the increasingly saturated media space, I can’t really blame these headlines for wanting to stand out from the rest. In fact, as a service to the news community, I have taken it upon myself to rewrite 7 recent world news headlines in order to increase their click-bait appeal. That’s the kind of selfless and generous guy I am.
1. Turkey secures release of hostages held by Islamic State
Islamic State held their people against their will, but Turkey went on to do the impossible. Wow.
2. Alex Salmond resigns as first minister after Scotland rejects independence
Scotland’s vote didn’t go the way this minister hoped. Watch what he does next!
3. Russian planes intercepted near U.S., Canadian airspace
Russian planes make a daring foray into North American airspace, with shocking results [VIDEO]
4. New Zealand’s National party secures third term, Labour concedes
New Zealand politics aren’t always this predictable, but these election results are truly incredible…
5. Kiev, rebels agree to extra measures to ensure Ukraine cease-fire
Have Kiev and rebels been able to reach a compromise? The answer may surprise you!
6. Obama to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as Ebola crisis worsens
You won’t trust your eyes when you see what Obama did about the Ebola outbreak.
7. Security stepped up at Vatican over fears of terror attack
Watch what the Vatican does when terrorist threat increases. I especially love the last sentence. It’s so touching.
9 thoughts on “You won’t believe what these headlines just did…”
I really detest the click through headlines. I do fall for them sometimes and I always feel like I’ve been duped. (Duped like a nincompoop.) We click and they get all our clicking info. Will it ever stop? Will Daniel become a headline writer? Click here to see what happens next!
That’s the thing…you’re still curious enough to read/see the content. And usually it’s something good. That doesn’t stopped me from being annoyed at getting manipulated into clicking.
If you think THAT was me complaining, just wait until you see THIS…
I guess I’m one of those nincompoops – what a fantastic word – who keep clicking on those sensationalist headlines!
With all the noise out there competing to be read, it’s only natural they’re going to go for the va-va-voom rather than the ho-hum. In fact, I think you’ve found your new niche. You could add headline-writer to your already impressively long LinkedIn profile!
Now there’s an idea. In fact, I can make it in the form of a headline itself. “Oh my God, my job role in 2014 was unbelievable. You must see it!”
Such talent. Shivers, I tell you, shivers.
Well this nincompoop…appreciates you pointing this out… I’ve been manipulated to get me to click on a headline… NOW I KNOW… they won’t fool me for the next 5 minutes or so LOL.
Will she click on the headline in the next 5 minutes? Hurry to discover the answer!