Click-bait

click·bait
klikbāt
noun, informal
(on the Internet) content, especially that of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page

I can't even remember when I last saw a post on social media that was not completely overblown hyperbole. The promise you won't believe your eyes or what would happen next usually leads to a website with some lame ass article that you won't believe you clicked on in the first place.

To make matters worse, said website with the lame article is chock full of other sensational links accompanied by pictures. The same pictures some psychology major most likely spent his PhD analyzing what visual clues in images and faces are subconsciously irresistible to the viewer not to click on.

To add insult to injury, you watch your mouse hand involuntary move the cursor over the image ready to click, conjuring the image of Peter Sellers' character in the wheelchair of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb loosing control over his arm. And a new browser window to yet another site opens.

And this time it doesn't even link to any article, just a whole page full of pictures with sensational headlines, and some nudity sprinkled in for good measure. Because now they got you by the proverbial balls (see what I did there? me neither).

And as your screen litters with browser windows (or you keep adding tab after tab to your browser - looking at you Google Chrome), your apoplectic indignation rising like magma in a volcano ready to blow, you realize that you will never reach anything your eyes won't believe or that will make you cry.

Instead, the numb realization settles in that you just contributed to the financial bottom line of some entity that farms websites with lots of advertising they make money of by way of some poor sap looking at for a split second (which is incidentally how the whole web advertising world works).

Thank you Tim Berners-Lee