You Won’t Believe What I Wrote.

Click bait articles are really starting to get on my nerves. You know those articles that start with “I Couldn’t Believe What Happened Next” or “You Won’t Believe What He Found In The Toilet!”? Those are just the tip of the iceberg of the infestation that has taken over the Internet.

I was perusing through the Apple News app this morning when I noticed a black and white photo of four women. The caption read, “a photographer takes the same photo of these four sisters for 35 years and the results are incredible. Click for more.” Now, the caption is rather click-baity with the “the results are incredible” tag, but the photo was moderately appealing and I read into the caption thinking that the pose was consistent over the time frame indicated. Wrong! This was simply a photo of the four women in a random pose, one per year, with some sort of Photoshop filter applied to it to give it a Vaseline smudge look to it. Of course, to see each photo you had to click to the next page (1 of 35, 2 of 35, etc) and there was a barrage of ads accompanying each page, complete with blaring video and sliding Javascript.

I didn’t even make it to page three when I feverishly backed myself the hell out of that hole. I then found I couldn’t get back to the main Apple News app which angered me in an irrational manner. If Apple hadn’t locked me into forcing the Apple News app on my iPhone with removing the ability to delete the thing, I would have promptly removed the app, never to gander at Apple News again. Instead, in a fit of frustration I threw my iPhone down onto the bed and jumped up to write this blog entry.

Thank you Apple for the motivation to bury the app in a “do not use” folder and subsequently get on with my day. I have just now stopped cursing myself for falling for a click bait article.

It’s bad enough that I’m constantly fed ads from Sheryl Sandberg and her ilk of pictures of toes that are having a heart attack or a woman peeling her face off to make her 85 year old haggard, haggy face look tighter than a snare drum in an effort get me to buy something. But these click bait articles, which I am normally intelligent enough to outsmart, are really getting on my nerves, especially when they’re starting to appear on “reputable” news sites like CNN (which indicates the real motivation for Wolf Blitzer and his magic wall). Journalism my ass. I don’t even read some halfway decent blogs anymore because they’re so populated with ads that the content takes only a third of the page and there’s things moving all over the place when I’m trying to focus on the “content”. The local newspaper is famous for things sliding around if you don’t pay some outrageous amount for their dubious content and then said content contains headlines such as “Mayor Makes Startling Discovery in His Lunch Pail”.

I know I’m starting to sound like the cranky old man that sits on his virtual front porch, but I miss the days before the Internet Infestation of ads. Honestly, I can take the little Google Ads that appear in a small box. I can take a two-to-three screen slide show of photos and commentary pertaining to a news item prefaced with a reasonable headline, “Citizens Protest Lunch Conditions at City Hall”. But these headlines that I won’t believe, that will astound me or that have nothing to do with the actual content of the article have got to come to a stop.

Stop clicking on them, please.