How many times a week does this happen to you? You're scrolling through social media, looking at various things friends have posted - photographs of kids, of grandkids, of events. Then in between the real news there's the teaser which appears to promise more. "You won't believe what happened when this woman went to get a rescue dog!"
Click bait. It's everywhere. Even otherwise legitimate news organizations use it to pull in traffic. They always promise more than they deliver. Sometimes they don't deliver at all. But you click on it anyway, hoping it might live up to the hype this time.
Most of the time, the real story is a big let down from the hyped, implied story. That woman who went to get a rescue dog? She got one. That's all. Yes, it's an interesting story, but you click on it because you think maybe it's going to be dog she owned that disappeared several years earlier. You don't think it's just going to be the story of a lady getting a rescue dog. Because I would believe that!
Then there are the sponsorships that appear to have no other purpose than to help some site get traffic numbers so they can sell the site. Like the one being seen now. Would you like to get television online, without going through cable or satellite? You won't believe what you can do now! Yeah, you won't believe it because they never tell you. They lead you to click the first site, then lead you to click other sites, but they never, ever tell you how to get all that TV access without cable or satellite. Or, they try to sell you come standard antenna that picks up broadcast stations, like the old days, if you're close enough to the broadcast stations.
You won't believe these photographs of things you could never see on television! Click. Then there's thirty pages to click to see thirty photographs, most of them boring and seen many times.
I keep saying to myself they're not going to get me, but then comes one that promises to show shocking photos of things in the ocean, so what am I to do? Yes, click on it. Oh, it's some kind of promotion for The Weather Channel. I've learned never click on any link promoted by The Weather Channel. Whatever they're claiming to cover, they're not. You'd think if you're the Weather Channel, talking about the weather would be sufficient. But someone at The Weather Channel appears to have experience with bait and switch advertising.
How about that fancy RV they're going to give away for free?! They built too many, and now they're just going to give one away. Click on it. Post it on your timeline. And you'll be surprised, because you are NOT going to get any RV for free!
The next time you read "you won't believe what happened," believe it. You're not. So don't click on it.
Copyright 2017, Jim "Pappy" Moore, all rights reserved.