The Click Bait Follies

I’ve been a victim of click-bait. If you don’t know what that is: (on the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.

I’m sure we all have fallen victim, and yet we keep on doing it. Usually, it starts with an innocuous headliner.

• What so and so looks like now is unbelievable.
• Try not to smile when you see what so and so looks like.
• 50 of the cutest animal pictures.
• Get rid of these 50 things in your home immediately.
• The best cookies/steak/pie/Italian dish/restaurant/beer in all 50 states.

On that one, I always want to say, do I have to scroll through 34 states just to get to one or two states I care about?

If you fall victim to click-bait, you go down a rabbit hole, and you will never recover. It takes forever to load because of all the stinking advisements. Sometimes, I have given up. The thing I wanted to read never appeared. Many times, I have forgotten what was so bloody fascinating in the first place. Sometimes, there are so many arrows and “Next’s” that I can’t make out what I am supposed to click. If you click on the wrong thing, suddenly you are looking at people suffering from sinus infections in 19th century Russia.

Other times, the “thing” I am trying to read doesn’t come up until you have advanced through 47 pictures. Then, it is almost a stinking dare.


I read one click bait article on Elizabeth Montgomery. One of the “little-known facts” about her was: Did you know when they filmed a scene in Bewitched, she would wiggle her nose and the cast would stop where they were? The crew then moved items out of camera view, to make it appear the item disappeared. Say what? What a shocking revelation.

They did tell me something I didn’t know which was that Dean Martin had a thing for her, but it took so long to get through the stinking text and pictures that I started to wither away. I’m sure I am now older than Agnes Moorehead.

Other times, I have gotten up and went to on to do the dishes, laundry, or read War and Peace. When I get back to my computer, the whole thing has slipped my brain. “Oh, yeah, I was reading about that.” Then I see where we are, only on page 52. It doesn’t tell you how many pictures you have to scroll through to get to the end.

I’ve fallen asleep at the computer waiting. My head is down and resting on the keyboard. When I finally wake up, I find the dent of the space bar on my eyebrow.

How about those repeats? I read one about Country Music superstars, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. I don’t know why. I’m not even a country music fan. Their click bait advertisement did something to lure me in. I would venture to say of the entire 60 some posts; they mentioned their money 98% percent of the time. Yeah, okay. We get it. THEY HAVE MONEY.

One of the shocking revelations they came up with on them was: When it comes to beauty products, Tim and Faith save a lot of money because they are actually known for sharing the products they own. There are times that Tim would actually use Faith’s lotion while there are moments when Faith would (use) Tim’s shower gel.

Wow! A husband and wife share products! Go on!

Another stunning discovery I learned on Faith is: Her father’s lack of education is the reason why he grew up not knowing how to read.

Think about that for a minute. Her father didn’t know how to read because he didn’t have an education. They need a poster of this in schools. I can see the PSA now.

Don’t be like Faith Hill’s dad!
Get an education.
Or, you won’t know how to read.

I started to document some click bait statistics. I went down one click-bait/rabbit hole/hell. Of the 53 pictures/pages on one click-bait article, there were 6-13 advertisements on each page. I counted them. (Of course, I have better things to do with my time, but I wanted to document it for this blog.) I counted a total of 527 advertisements. There might have been more, but I didn’t wait for them all to load.

On one page, I counted twelve advertisements, and seven of them were for Fitbit. Another page had ten ads. Three were for the same blouse I had already bought months before. How many times am I supposed to buy the same stinking blouse?

One of the click-bait posts I read had 53 pages, with a total of over 4200 words. Most pages have on average of 50 words per page. Apparently, that is our collective attention span.

It seems they forget words. For instance, in the Faith Hill & Tim McGraw revelation, they forgot the word “use.”

If you divide 527 advertisements into 4200 words, that’s an ad for every eight words.

Imagine your daily life. You call the bank.

“Yes, I need to talk about my account.”
“We’d be happy to assist you. Can I.-”
The new Ford Echo Sport combines economy with classy style.

The words per advertisement ratio might explain why sometimes they “pad” their stories. They add extra words like, “actually.” Microsoft Word tells me that “actually” is not concise.

Word, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Click-bait articles are not concise. Remember that the next time you are lured into the black hole of click-bait articles. Beware what ”actually” lurks within.



About rhondamhall

I am employed full time and am a humor writer & bicycle enthusiast.
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