It’s the marketing equivalent of a tourist trap. You were promised to be somewhere incredible, only to be shocked by the below-averageness of it all. It’s you AND a million other punters trying to get their last-minute fix of trivial nonsense.

If you haven’t been living in a cave for the last 15 years you must have encountered  “listicle” articles. Clickbait extra-ordinaire for the low-attention-span generation, written by armies of lazy journalists and marketeers. Those blog posts which are not really for anything other than driving senseless traffic to boring blogs and websites. And dumbing down the intellectual capabilities of, otherwise, perfectly functioning individuals. Some typical examples from Buzzfeed include:

The next time you see such an article just roll your eyes and remember this article.

Why?

Here are the 9 reasons why you should never click on listicle links:

  1. It is highly doubtful the author’s implied knowledge and authority on the topic are accurate. Who do they think they are anyway?!
  2. Authors use words like “surprising” and “brilliant” in the title, just to attract attention.
  3. Similarly, they use mysterious pictures as featured images to add to the illusion something AMAZING will be revealed when they click the link.
  4. After a short and straightforward introduction, a list of bullets is all that is left to write. However, bullets often oversimplify the actual topic. Most topics could be more complex and have more intricate and supportive argumentation.
  5. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle. The more you click on these links the more they will appear. People HAVE to write them to attract visitors (with pleasantly low bounce rates) to their crappy WordPress sites. And, unfortunately, you WILL probably read them… Listicles are disgustingly easy to digest.
    6. Factoids are represented as facts surrounded by annoying yet somehow appealing advertising.
 
    1. 7. Space filler text is inserted, but really, the only thing that counts is your clicks.
 
    8. By clicking you are supporting pointless websites that have no intellectual goal or otherwise meaningful cause. Do you really want sites like Buzzfeed to get rich by selling pictures of cats, memes and dumb lists?!
    Why don’t you just donate to this site instead?
    9. You will inevitably end up somewhere on the internet you don’t want to be. The other day I discovered the link about “23 ways to be a better person” had taken me to Ilovesexwithdonkeys.com. Try and explain THAT browser history to your boss or significant other!

Time out people.

Think before you click and share!

JCB

P.S. Please share this with all your closest Facebook friends and other acquaintances.


Also published on Medium.

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