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Well, First Off
1. You’re here. And you’re reading this. Even this word over
Did it feel good? Blindly clicking on a link you knew was going to be a piece of shit write-up that would waste away your precious young-person time? I can tell this wasn’t your first. You’ve been disappointed before, haven’t you? Caught by the dangling deep sea angler-fish light of a headline with a catchy and enticing promise of juicy info. But you still just HAD to click this one, huh?
Here’s the refreshing news: You’re not alone. But here’s the sad news: You’re really not alone. Clickbait is a real phenomenon of Interweb exploration, and has royally rammed us of our pride and dignity on too many occasions. Buzzfeed, the King Geoffrey of news media in its wanton youth and brashness, was among the first major news websites to use enticing headlines to catch the reader in its net of curious seduction. But what once started as a millennial trend has grown and distorted itself into an ad-infused campaign to dull our inquisitive minds. Many of us can easily tell the signs of the ploy when they’re present, but sometimes we take that fated chance and just click anyway. Ergo, your reading. Well, unless you’ve left from being bored to smithereens. Heh, smithereens. What a fun little word.
2. You love listicles.
Yeah, it sounds dirty. And yet you do it on a monthly basis, sometimes weekly. But what IS a listicle? A listicle is an “article” with just a bunch of numbered whatevers of facts that don’t matter. JUS LIE DIS WON! They can range from the ranking of disney villain facial hair to a list of shit you remember from the 90s. The best decade of America that we just happened to be awe-inspired children in. It’s one of those dumbass posts that says nothing with something you’re remotely interested, and it’s been making up the bulk of all these tween-read nonsense on the Internet. Buzzfeed alone posts on average (as of January 2015) 65 articles a month featuring some kind of numbered bullshit. They’re damaging the minds of our youts and must be stopped! But I digress.
3. DJ Khaled is a big sad brown man.
Look, it’s cool that DJ Khaled is an inspiration to young people and the fight against the theys. It’s kinda cool that he lives in a mansion with Chef D and a couple bookcases worth of Nikes. It’s pretty cool how he kicks it with famous people all the time and we get an inside look into the personal life of a celebrity. But I mean the dude does the same shit every day. He eats the same meals. He drowns the same plants. Unless the key to success is a monotonous existence peppered with instances of fangirl realities, I don’t think he’s still inspiring people the way he was kind of doing eight months ago. I’m devolving into some pretty abstract cynicism right now, but legit, is anyone still hanging on every snap DJ Khaled posts anymore?
4. If it isn’t funny or entertaining, it just isn’t newsworthy.
More damaging to news media than click-bait is the fact that just about everything we young people take in about news is fed through the medium of humor. Before the Daily show started in ‘96 (but didn’t actually get good until ‘99 when Stewart started hosting), the only source of comedy news reporting was the Weekend Update segment hosted on SNL, back when it started up in 1975. But it wasn’t until the turn of the century that satirical news reporting became a mainstay of our collective cultivation of news through comedy.
Humor isn’t necessarily a new thing, nor is it a bad thing. Political cartoons have been in print since as early as the mid-18th century (says Wikipedia), and have done considerable good in provoking thought and social criticism from the communal body of private citizens. Comedy allows to curve the rigid lines that divide perception, and foster social growth through a biological stimulation of not only our intelligence, but our capacity to take in the world for more than what we personally experience.
5. There is no God.
jk lol there might be. Take a chill suppository, live your life. Get schwifty with it.
6. We’re orbiting the pit of consumption, and it’s wearing us thin.
What? Let me splain. The issue with taking in news as an experience worthy of necessary enjoyment has less to do with us and our choices than the society around us that fosters and encourages this type of inclination. It’s this weird back and forth between what the heads of media believe news should be told as and what actually interests the general public in new information concerning their world, and both are kinda broken.
The problem seems to arise when comedy is the sole proprietor of our media information – when we begin to prefer entertainment over bulletin, inhibiting our intellectual growth. I know I’m getting pretty preachy here, but consider for a moment where the bulk of your news comes from. If it isn’t from the trending links on Facebook or twitter, or the social updates from Snapchats, it’s usually Comedy Central or bust. But we’re not the ones to blame for this flow of tendency. Have you seen CNN? Or Fox News? Or MSNBC? Even network news is laughable, but in a very different way, a very sad way. News is presented to the masses in a bullshitted attempt to be more akin to the streams of entertainment leaking into our living experience, and it’s dumbing the fuck out of America. I’m not even going to get started on the presidential race. I’m just not. Don’t think that because there’s more words after that that I’m going go in on it because you’ll end up discouraged and disappointed.
What we need is a step back from it all. To assert ourselves as more than what we’re perceived as, which by the way is basically this:
We are Generation Don’t-Give-A-Fuck-About-Anything
This is us, and on the Internet is where we live! Where our auras are foretold through buzzfeed quizzes and our morning news is delivered through our snapchats! We eat our meals in the holy communion of Netflix and share our edited thoughts in witty tweets of lethargy! We are the generation of not giving a shit, and we thrive in our social apathy and wanton recklessness! Follow me on Instagram!
Maybe some of the time we’re like this. But we are an intelligent group of people. The smartest generation minus the experience and work ethic of those that got conceived before us. We can be more than what we are if we inform ourselves of our world and not relent to the humorless ether of fuckboyshit. Are you not entertained? Good. Maybe that’s the start we need to become contributors to our representation, conspirators of sensationalism and revolutionaries for knowledge and truth. Knope for President.
(This post sponsonsorednotsponsored by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)