Simply think about what you do with you have free time and you're online. You click on adorable cat videos or take a million quizzes an hour on the Buzz Feed type sites. This type of journalism is slowly taking over. When was the last time that you read a newspaper or an online newspaper? It's probably been a little while. The idea of clickbait is bringing a new look and feel to the web and to the way that we receive news. These websites are trying to get the popularity of everyone online instead of showing us real and true facts. Why is it so important to get readers? The Internet knows that people have shorter attention spans now, so these sites have been raking in millions of readers every day.
Dumbing down of our culture
Many true journalists think that with all of these different clickbait sites, the Internet is slowly dumbing down our culture. Do people even talk about what they read in the paper anymore? Are there any more creative writers anymore who give us the facts about events or do we just turn to social media and clickbait sites to get this so-called information? These websites clearly have a target audience in mind and just from looking at your own social media outlets, you can see how much your friends and followers take them quizzes and click on the websites of thousands of lists.
When you are finding yourself having to do research for a paper in a class, how hard is it to now find credible information? When the Internet first came out, all of us were so excited about the wealth of information that it gave us and how easy it was to write a research paper from the sites we found online. Times have changed and now when we search for certain topics, we have to sort through quite a lot of clickbait sites before we can finally find what we need. If we are sensible with our searches, it really won't take us too long to sort through the information that we need.
Journalists just want hits
Now it seems as if the Internet journalists are simply looking to gain more popularity online instead of just giving us important information. There are blogs everywhere you turn, there are pop culture sites that proclaim someone has died, but it is truly a scam, and there are quizzes, so many quizzes all over social media. It seems that these journalists are just trying to gain popularity online and now deliver us the news. For a lot of online writers, they get paid based on the type of hits the website they work for is getting. This is why a lot of them tend to embellish the truth just a little. This, once again, makes it really hard for us to believe everything that we read. So what some examples of clickbait journalism for those who don't know? Some of the following are ways that these online journalist reel you in to read the article, and then let you down once you see it is not at all about what you thought it would be.
Misleading headlines are some of the top ways that these journalists will get you to click on the link. For example, "Teacher saves students from mountain lion attack in Portugal." You must keep in mind that the mountain lion population isn't so large there, so why would you click on the link? You would be very surprised at the amount of people who do.
Oh the lists! Some of the eye catching ones such as "10 reasons you should never date a guy with a man bun" or "10 reasons wine is better than a boyfriend." They just go on and on.
Headlines that are guiding you to click them because they won't give you all of the information that you want. "Crazed couple leaves child in the car and have a great reason why". You have to click on the headline to even get to the story. A lot of people find that to be such a waste of time.
Titles that make you think that you can now be an expert on anything. "Five secret tips on how you can do html code and run your own website." Let's face it, that stuff isn't easy, but if you click on this link, you will be able to master it.
The pictures and videos that are displayed with the headline. "Chinese sushi cat loves to play with turtles. See it in this adorable video." Let's face it, we are all suckers for adorable cat videos and now they are all over the Internet.
With all of these new types of journalism, it is difficult for us to believe anything that we read anymore. If you do have your own blog, you may want to stick to the facts so that your readers actually receive the best information that they possibly can. It is important that we keep an open mind to everything that we are now seeing online. Perhaps one day we can learn some helpful information from one of the millions of lists online. Until then, let's pick up a newspaper every once in a while and give our brains a rest.