Anyone who surfs the internet is now intimately acquainted with “click-bait,” those odd little “ads” appealing to our more prurient natures in an all-out attempt to get us to click on a link to an otherwise obscure website. The hallmark of such links is the jarring yet deliberate disconnect between the description of the site and what is pictured immediately above said description to entice you to visit it. On the one hand, we think to ourselves, “who would be dumb enough to click on that,” just before we…can’t help ourselves…and click on that. Oh, and there is no other hand.
Here is a real-life example of the genre’: online earlier today, I saw a link with the wording, “Why Do The Amish Keep These Practices Secret?” I’m not kidding. The picture above was of a stunningly beautiful young girl in a nearly see-through top sporting an almost sinful come-hither look. I will break this to you now: Santa Claus doesn’t exist and neither does this Amish girl, no matter how fervently we wish they did. And, if the site actually even deigns to mention an Amish secret, it’s typically something akin to: “Don’t over-agitate with the butter churn.”
These ridiculous virtual teases and temptresses will read something like: “Who Really Built Stonehenge? The Answer May Shock You.” Above it will be a picture of a Playboy bunny, replete with white fluffy tail. You will also often come across one such as, “37 Things You Didn’t Know A Penis Can Do,” or “19 Uses For Cream Cheese That You Probably Never Thought Of.” If you haven’t already clicked on these, trust me, it’s not worth your time.
One frequently encounters another common category of click-bait: “Historical Photos You Can’t Un-See. Number 17 Will Drive You To Drink.” Above that will be an obviously faked World War II era photo of a gal sporting erect nipples the size of soda-straws straining against her sheer blouse, leaning against a P-51 Lightning, with eyes fairly begging you to take her for a spin in the wild blue yonder. Enter at your own risk. You’ll land before you ever take flight.
So, before you click on “Tina Louise Was Beautiful Then, But You Won’t Believe What She Looks Like Now—Picture Number Six Will Curl Your Toenails,” set down your drink and think twice.
There’s still time to save your dignity.