If you spend any time on Facebook at all, you most likely have come across some overly dramatic headlines. For example, “I thought it was just an ordinary dog, but then he did this, and I cried,” or “I could not believe my eyes, but yes this is real,” or “don’t ever go grocery shopping again, until you read this one article.”
Seriously, are we really that gullible and easy to manipulate? Obviously, someone thinks so, and sadly, they’re not too far from the truth. How many of us have clicked to read the newfound secret of grocery shopping, or eagerly awaited for the video of the dog to load, only to find that there was really no secret, just a coupon, and the dog was just licking a baby?
Honestly, these headlines make me mad because they are making people even more suspicious than we already are, and they take away from actual good content that often goes unnoticed because the writer did not try to manipulate you with an overhyped headline. Sure, headlines should have some intrigue and make you want to read more, but this is not an article about writing proper headlines.
This is an article pleading with anyone who uses this type of headline to please, please STOP. Honesty is so hard to come by today and social media makes an easy target for people that want to take advantage of our emotions, passions, fears, and even curiosity. But, in the end, all it accomplishes is to make us wary of anything and everything.
It really comes down to integrity. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Remember when that used to be commonplace? I get it: you have something to sell, and it is a tough crowd, but don’t try to manipulate me to click on your link, or like your post. Tell me what you are about. Be upfront, and if it is something that I need or want, I will learn more. If I think it would be valuable to my friends, then I will share it.
Lastly, use a little common sense and realize that once we click that link and are instantly filled with disappointment, even betrayal, you won’t have us as a customer, follower, fan, or whatever you’re trying to accomplish. All you will have is an inflated number of views on your webpage from a bunch of people who just lost a little more hope for an honest and trustworthy world.