A tease. A luring pull.
It drags us in, seducing us with this preconceived notion that what’s inside is a juicy, delicious delicacy that will blow our minds…but really it’s a scheme to draw in more viewers at any cost.
There are so many different types of clickbait in the media right now. Politics, celebrity mishaps, queer issues, you name it.
My mind has its own version of clickbait. It flashes this sign that entices me, making me want more. When I dive inside I get lost in the chaos and find myself floating in this suspended state. I think to myself, “I swear I came in here for something, but this can’t be it.” I become confused and realize I was dragged in with the promise of one thing, and given something else.
Unbeknownst to me, I fell under the spell of my own headline.
I borrow society’s manipulative tactics and weaponize them in my own mind. I lie to myself that I am doing okay. I’m doing great. I’m living my best life and nothing can tear me down. But when I check in with myself there’s an avalanche of emotions that bury me, suffocate me. They bring me to the precipice of losing my grasp on reality.
I learned how to dangle what I want most right in front of me. I give it a mouthwatering scent; I create this beautiful, inviting mirage. I become so used to the attraction for the bait that I lose sight of what I originally was searching for.
It had something to do with…something.
How do we find it in ourselves to be honest? Sometimes we use white lies. Sometimes we stretch the truth. But, how do we find the courage to be honest with ourselves?
I’ve lied to myself my whole life.
Maybe lied is the wrong word. The connotation is closer to being dishonest.
For instance, I couldn’t find the courage to look at myself in the mirror and acknowledge the person trying to claw their way out. Some will say it wasn’t the time yet, but what if it was?
Society favors heteronormativity and very publicly ostracizes outliers. At one point in history, some self-aggrandizing person (man) said, “My way or the highway.” The highway meaning you’ll be ridiculed on the world’s stage.
If I, or any other person in a similar position, lived in a world where I could be red, yellow, purple, a mix of green and blue, or orange and black, would I have realized who I was earlier and saved myself years of pain and dysphoria?
Was my entire identity hidden by society’s clickbait? How come whenever I tried to look at the article the link was broken and all I could see was the headline?
It’s like watching TV and a commercial comes on about new happy pills. I just have to call my doctor and they’ll prescribe it for me for free. What they won’t tell me is the side effects are upset stomach, suicidal thoughts, hypnotically straight syndrome, buried baggage disorder.
Am I just continuously kidding myself?
Clickbait is a powerful drug that creates an addiction for all things in style and trendy.
Here, let’s try it out…
Clickbait headline: This Celebrity Lost 50 Pounds in 5 Days and You Can Too!
Fine print: can cause death
Clickbait headline: Depression Isn’t Real! Psychology is a Myth!
Fine print: can cause self doubt and untreated suicidal thoughts.
Clickbait headline: Cure The Gay Away! New Vaccine Shows Promising Results!
Fine print: can cause dysphoria, untreated suicidal thoughts, and in severe cases…death.
Now these are some extreme examples but I think they get the point across.
Lying has become so normal that telling the truth is a foreign concept. We believe things on a surface level and take everything at face value.
I told myself I was a straight cisgender female for most of my life because when I looked my “symptoms” up online, all the headlines I saw said, “Don’t worry about that. You’re normal.”
Clickbait, the gateway drug to becoming a shallow fraud. A gullible buffoon. A total fool.
Ironically, this piece is called clickbait. I promise I wasn’t trying to draw in a crowd just for more views.
But now that you’re here…
Like, subscribe, and totally tell your friends!
(Just kidding…or am I?)