We’ve all seen them; those headlines for painfully idiotic internet articles. Things like (and all of these are real) “Secret discovered on page 859 of the Bible”, “Twelve prehistoric animals I’m glad are dead” or, and this one is my favorite of all, “Nineteen stupid people who obviously don’t know the meaning of things”. Read over those “article” titles again and tell me which sounds like the best read. Is it none of them? I agree. And it has to stop.
The internet is a magical place where people from all over the world can gather and share ideas, solutions to problems and porn…so much porn. But, in a world where consumption has to be immediate, it is becoming more and more commonplace to see articles with titles like the three I have mentioned above. You click on them, you look at the pictures, you skim the captions (if there even are any) and you move on. For a fleeting second, you might possibly feel like you’ve learned something though you are fully aware of the fact that you have not.
One of the gravest offenders of this is Facebook. Not only are your stupid friends sharing things like “This dog jumps over a fence and what it finds, I’m already in tears” but the internet giant itself is also promoting it. “Suggestions” on Facebook are now including a slew of these incessantly irritating pieces of shit. I don’t know how many times a marine coming home to her dog can make people cry, but if you believe Facebook, it is every 16 seconds.
And while some of you might consider this a bit of a departure from the rest of the excellent discussion on pop culture that this website is known for, I would argue the opposite. Pop culture is more than TV, movies and music. Pop culture encompasses all that is popular and, if the world were a gigantic high school, the internet would be the king of the cool kids. The internet offers you everything you could imagine and asks for so precious little in return. What do we do with that technology? Upload cat videos and links to articles that are nothing more than click bait. It’s not a perfect world that we live in, but this could be so much better.
Every time you go to click on “Six weird ways to slow down a speeding bullet, especially #4, wow!” stop. Ask yourself if you even want to know what some asshole thinks is a weird way to stop a bullet, are there 6 ways to do it, and why is number 4 so goddamned important. Odds are, your answers will lead you to a better decision to read an actual article about a new album that you haven’t heard yet or reviews of that difficult film that will help you understand it better. Of course, you could always just read the bullet article because it’s easy.
I suppose that’s the bottom line that is so bothersome with these faux articles; they make easy seem harder than it is. Every article is 15 clicks. Every click is money. All that money gives us more articles. And you gain nothing. But if you feel like you have to work for your non-information, it somehow has worth. It has become information. And when you’re at a party, you can tell people all of those tremendously uninteresting “facts” that you’ve “learned” and those people will recite the same “interesting” “facts” to some other poor soul at some other party. And, sad though it is, everything will be exactly as it should be.
Whoa, that got dark. All that I’m saying is that these garbage internet click bait pieces of shit will only lead to the downfall of Western civilization.
Jason R. Noble