Clickbait: even if you don't know what it is, you've encountered it, clogging up your Facebook feed, drowning out the photos and ramblings of your nearest and dearest.
Those articles designed to rouse your curiosity, pique your interests and relate to you are as irresistible as they are now commonplace. On the web, where clicks are precious, adding a touch of clickbait to a headline could make the difference between a few dozen readers and a viral hit.
That quest for viral success has led to many proven methods of stirring up interest from the casual procrastinator dossing around at work surfing for distraction of any kind. Here are six of them, the articles people across the web can never, ever resist.
Disclaimer: The following list / rant may contain elements of hypocrisy. The writer does not care.
You Won't BELIEVE What Made Us Use All-Caps
All-caps means EMPHASIS, or YELLING, so if a headline uses it you know some serious s**t is happening. Pray tell what gob-smacking event has taken place to encourage such wanton use of the shift key.
Kim Kardashian broke a nail doing WHAT?
WHO called the Queen a trollop?
Is David Cameron ACTUALLY a subterranean lizard-man?
25 Objects From the 90s That Will Conjure Up Feelings of Nostalgia
Nostalgia is the great anesthetiser; a calming balm reminding us of the long-lost happiness of youth in the face of grown-up pressures and stresses. Nostalgia is easy to produce too: just remember things on behalf of other people and show them it.
Example: here are some pogs - one of them is for Space Precinct, that show was dope!
76 Problems Only People Exactly Like You Will Understand
89 Thoughts Only People Who've Been To Greggs Will Understand – that's an article that will surely be written at some point over the next few years and infect social media. "I'm a person," cries the inner-thoughts of a bored internet user, "I went to Greggs once! Wow this article speaks to me."
Everyday mundane occurrences used to be the bottomless resource of run-of-the-mill comedians, but now anyone with a keyboard and an innate desire to be accepted can run off a list of tedious thoughts and present it as observational humour*.
Guess what? Everyone who has been to Greggs has wondered if asking the person behind the hot food counter for something from the cold food side might break the space-time continuum. Why is putting that thought on the internet anything other than a waste of finger movement?
*There's that hypocrisy.
33 Reasons London Is The Best City Ever You Guys
Much like the entry above, but this time localised. Articles about London in particular plague the web, engulfed as they are in a thick air of smugness which originates from writers desperate to rub it in that they can afford to live in the most expensive city on this here planet.
London is not the centre of the known universe, it's just a great big town like many others that stinks of piss and exhaust fumes.
See also: New York.
Disney Princesses Redrawn In Vaguely-Interesting Ways
For whatever reason, Disney Princesses are like catnip to social media luvies, so any article featuring them redrawn in some crazy, timely or provocative fashion will be wildly popular. Here they are if they were sloths, pop culture icons, here are the kinds of Snapchats they would have sent and, you guessed it, here they are as victims of domestic abuse.
What next? Disney Princesses as severe burn victims, drawn in black-face, or dressed as Nazi generals?
Top 10 Top 10 Lists That Enrage You The Most
Nobody, absolutely nobody can resist a top 5, 10, 20 list about something they love. You can read 236 lists about the topic (greatest video games, best Radiohead album, ranking the cast of Saved By The Bell) but you will still feel a need to read list number 237 just in case the writer's opinions doesn't match up with your own.
Screech third? ARE YOU MAD!?