Don’t take the (click) bait: a note on Social media interactions

I tried to browse urban dictionary for an appropriate definition of “click bait” that I could post, but there was none, so I will simply define it in my own terms. Click bait can best be defined as a blog post, or news article aimed at nothing more than increasing traffic to a website in the attempt to generate attention,  clicks, and subsequent revenue. And when you are a person who makes his/her career based on people reading what you say, you’re going to do that a lot. One of my major pet peeves about social media is that it can turn anyone into a keyboard pastor, teacher, coach, and psychiatrist and if you get enough people who agree with you, you can become a celebrity. But, I’m writing to them, I am writing to you, the potential audience.
     There is a certain Internet writer who has a large following with many of my friends, and while I can understand why, I will simply say personally that I value his use of the First Amendment to express himself and the vigor with which he writes, and leave it at that. But, there are several people who are so opposed to this person that they not only send him scathing messages and comments, they write vitriolic reactionary blogs filled with righteous indignation about how wrong and awful he is and what a pathetic excuse for a human being he is, thinking that this will stop him or change his message. The truth is, what they are doing is worse, much worse. Not only are they stooping to the level of this person, by repeatedly mentioning his name and referencing his posts in their rebuttals, they are increasing the number of hits, Google searches, tweets, and notoriety. All of which puts money into this person’s wallet, and gives them more attention. So, they are glad to let you troll on and hate blog on, because they will as T.I. brilliantly stated “let [you] hate, and watch the money pile up.”
   Now I know what you’re thinking, these bloggers just are totally clueless and are saying some crazy stuff. And that may be true, but of you want to put a stop to them, there is a simple solution. Do. Absolutely. Nothing.  Remove their name from your feed and timeline, hide any post you see, refuse to comment. Don’t take the bait, because it’s simply a trap. A lot of TV shows that people thought would be seriously controversial ended up being non issues because they were so bad that no one watched and they faded into oblivion. The same thing will happen here. Some people may still talk because they feel like they have something to say, but if the audience is not there, then they’re saying nothing, because the people are what give them their voice. So, just like that awful stand up routine you went to at that nasty bar back in college, instead of being a heckler and ending up in the act, just walk out, and as you see a group of folks on their way in, say “try another spot tonight, there’s nothing going on in there. “


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