Why I Don’t Like (some) Viral Blog Posts

Recently I’ve seen blog posts all over my social media pages (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter). It’s not that I don’t like blogs… obviously. Instead it’s the manner that they go about getting readers and hits. The latest trend that has been bothering me is the “Hook Title.”

(yes, I came up with that term)

In high school English class, the first sentence of an essay is called a “hook” –something to catch the reader’s interest so they are willing to continue reading the rest of your 6 page paper about obedience, Zimbargo, and the Stanford Prison Experiment. Hooks weren’t always used in our papers, in fact, writing a hook that doesn’t seem too obvious and pleased our teacher actually proved rather difficult. I’ve digressed…

The trend amongst bloggers currently is to give a post a shocking title that will cause people to read what they have to say… which is not nearly as shocking as the title. The posts themselves are usually well written and good points to make, however the scandalous titles paired with the tame content seems too sharp of a contrast. Almost a let down. Not that I’d want some of the titles to be true! There are some frightening ones out there!

The most recent one that keeps popping up in my Facebook news feed is: This Man Is Dating Someone Even Though He’s Married. Sounds So Wrong…But I’m On His Side. 

The first problem I have with this isn’t actually the title (we’ll get to that) but it’s on a secondary site. But that is another post for another time. Once you actually follow the secondary site to the original post the title is: I’m Dating Someone Even Though I’m Married . No surprise that it turns out to be his wife. Were you expecting a new relationship that TLC can turn into a reality TV show? As he states in the article “Oh! Did I mention the woman I am dating is my wife? What did you expect?”
He makes a good point in his article and I agree with him.

But can you see my point? His outlandish-sounding title creates a false idea about what hides behind the link.

What are your thoughts? Have you read any crazy blog post titles?

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