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Thursday, August 23, 2018

8 Reasons We Click The Bait

Do you ever wonder why we click on the blog articles, videos, and news stories that we do?

Here is a list of some tricks for clicks.

1.  Numbers.  
Giving a number of points for an article makes us think that it will be short or that it will have numbered points we can quickly glance at that will have important, useful, or interesting information.
This is not always wrong (and I've used it for this blog post to make the point), although it might play on anxiety which wouldn't be a good thing.

2.  Craziness.  
The story seems outrageous, crazy, or hard to believe.  Yes, we are fascinated by the unusual.

3.  Fear.  
A lot of times headlines play on our fears.  Something bad happens to one or a few people, and the media wants us to be terrified that it's going to happen to us.  There are some reasonable things to be concerned about, but often they play on our sinful fears.

4.  Feel Good Stories.  
Many of us like stories that play on our happy feel good emotions.  
We like to read about heroes and see cute kids and animals and reunions and other pleasant stories.  This isn't always a bad thing, but often people exaggerate or are downright dishonest.  Have you ever seen a video that promises to be the cutest?

5.  Problem Solving.  
Sometimes articles and videos offer promises to help us solve problems.  
The frustration is that often they do not live up to what they seem to offer.  
The best ones are those that teach us us Scriptural principles (when it is done properly). 

6.  Action.  
We like to help people out.
We sign petitions, send e-mails or tweets, share fundraisers for those in need, look at stories about missing people, etc.  
We can also rightly be concerned for people who are wrongfully persecuted.
We should show some caution.
There are those who play on our desires to help people and deceive us, and many times people share old or phony stories.
Some wrongfully make demands of other Christians that are not called for in Scripture (and may actually be the opposite of what the Bible teaches).

7.  Agreement.  
We all like to see articles that Amen our strongly held beliefs.  
This isn't always bad, but it can be a bad thing if people are agreeing with things that are against what Scripture teaches.

8.  Controversy.  
Yes, sometimes we go to stories that we know there is going to be disagreement on.  It is easy to get caught up reading the comments or commenting ourselves and getting riled up. 
It is easy to go from righteous indignation to sinful anger on these things, although there are plenty of times when a controversial subject does need to be addressed.

Not all means to get clicks are wrong, but there are many who try to intentionally deceive us and to encourage us to sin.
I'm not a fan of April Fools type articles that have tricked me either.
Not mentioned above are stories, articles, and videos that bring lustful thoughts and pictures to us.  
We do need to be careful what we fill our minds with.  It will affect our closeness to God (as believers) when we entertain sinful thoughts and desires.  It's something we should battle with Scriptural truth rather than taking the bait to sin.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
1 John 2:16 NASB

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