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.
Islamic State held their people against their will, but Turkey went on to do the impossible. Wow.
Scotland’s vote didn’t go the way this minister hoped. Watch what he does next!
Russian planes make a daring foray into North American airspace, with shocking results [VIDEO]
New Zealand politics aren’t always this predictable, but these election results are truly incredible…
Have Kiev and rebels been able to reach a compromise? The answer may surprise you!
You won’t trust your eyes when you see what Obama did about the Ebola outbreak.
Watch what the Vatican does when terrorist threat increases. I especially love the last sentence. It’s so touching.