Clickbait is Dumb & Christians Should STAHP
I’m tired of blogging and here’s why.
Oh, that’s a good title for a blog. I should remember that. Yeah. That’s one of the unique and recent challenges of this form of writing.
-You have to come up with an interesting topic.
-You have to have an individual voice that doesn’t sound like everyone else on the internet.
-There needs to be worth while content that can be beneficial or something. It can’t be shallow, useless garbage.
-AND THEN you have to come up with a truly INSANE title that is going to freak people out enough to click the link.
You’re on Facebook. You’re creeping on that ex-girlfriend or “hate reading” a dumb Facebook debate on gun control or atheism. Suddenly, a link with a BIZARRE blog title shows up in your feed.
WHY EVERY CHRISTIAN GIRL SHOULD MARRY A GUY LIKE HITLER
You go “WHAAAAAAAA?!” Perfectly reasonable reaction. You click the link because of course you’ll click the link. You’ve got to check this thing out! “That CAN’’T be what the author means. What are they talking about?!” Half way through you find out what they’re really trying to say and it’s usually something obvious and dumb. “Women shouldn’t marry Hitler. They should be careful who they date.” Oh. Ok. Duh. Thanks.
IT’S A TRAP! Apparently it’s called “clickbait” and it’s exhausting. I like writing on the internet but I probably can’t be successful because I’m not very good at creating clickbait. I mean, I can come up with some dumb blog titles but I don’t know what kind of blog would go with it.
SEVEN REASONS WE BELIEVE SCOOBY DOO IS A RACIST
FIND OUT WHY KISSING DEAD ANIMALS IS REALLY REALLY FUN
WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE DISNEY CHANNEL
You’d click those, right?
Clickbait is manipulation. I totally get that. But I still fall for it all the time! There’s the “What Happens Next Will Shock You!” trend in titles that I can’t resist! I need to know what happens next and why it will shock me.
THIS CAT ATE A BAG OF COCAINE. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WILL WARM YOUR HEART
What?! I need to see that! How can my heart be warmed by a drugged out kitty?!?!!
I once wrote a blog about youth ministry and attached a photo of a keg stand because it was referencing something in the blah blah blah. Who cares. A LOT of people checked that post out. A lot more than usual. I think it was, like, 5 people. Just kidding. It was 5 million! Kidding again. The point is most of them weren’t reading because they were interested in what I had to say. They just wanted to make sure I wasn’t an idiot saying youth ministry is all about getting drunk. WOOP WOOP!
It’s so tempting to be a part of the trend. If it ain’t broke why fix it? But it IS broken. It’s dumb. We shouldn’t have to trick people into reading! Reading is so important. Don’t believe me? Check out this scholarly article on 10 Benefits to Reading on best-books-for-kids.com. Pretty good benefits, aren’t they? On top of that, apparently reading can be prescribed by doctors to fight depression.
There are so many great/smart/entertaining/unique voices on the internet who aren’t trying to trick us. Can we give our attention to them instead of these clickbait masters? Like, Christ and Pop Culture. That’s a website I find myself at all the time. It’s interesting and thought provoking and distracts me in the bathroom after I eat two quesaritos at Taco Bell AKA THE WORST DECISION OF MY LIFE!
When we fall for clickbait like
FIND OUT WHY I'M A PASTOR WHO LOVES SMOKING METH
we read it quickly because “what in the world?” and then never think about it again. We don’t care about who wrote it. We don’t care about anything else they’ve written. We’re not going back next week to see if they have any other interesting thoughts.
What I’m trying to say is I’d really like it if you subscribed to my blog. Because clickbait is dumb and I’m TERRIBLE at it!
WHY JESUS DOESN’T WANT WOMEN TO SHAVE THEIR LEGS
Start a summer reading list. Get a couple of book recommendations from friends but also add a few websites on there you’ll check out once a week. Reading is so important. I'm no scientist but I'm sure if we spent thirty minutes away focusing on reading a new article, novel, research, or humorous essay, instead of on social media, we'd see some positive effects. Our brains would grow like the Grinch's heart. Our conversations would be richer in content. We might seek out new and exciting experiences like the ones we've been reading about. Like joining the Hunger Games.
Reading can give you so much but it can also help take away. It's a wonderful distraction. Take a break! Relax! You’re stressed, you’re busy, you’re pregnant (surprise!). You could use a nice read.
It might sound like I'm exaggerating but I'm really not. That summer reading list could do a lot of good. And since it was my idea, why not put this site on the top of that list? PLEASE?!?!?!
I’ve split my site in two. There’s a section for everyone and section for pastors. There are two different blogs for the different audiences. For Pastors I have any and all ministry related writings. That’s also where you’ll find my new ebook on youth ministry. Here you’ll find some humor, devotionals, or embarrassing stories that anyone can enjoy.
Over on the right of this page you can find a place to plug in your e-mail address to subscribe. That way you’ll get an e-mail notification every time there’s a new post.
What are some books, magazines, or websites you want to read this summer? Post YOUR summer reading list in the comments.