If you are like me, and find yourself having some bouts of insomnia or moments of “I can’t take life, what’s on Facebook” from time to time every other hour or night or whatever, you’ve probably noticed a trend in most of the articles you see others posting to their timelines or even in your own recommended news feed; not sure what it is? I’ll tell you, just as it was told to me when I took a seminar on SEO (search engine optimization, or, in layman’s terms, how to get people to go to the best websites faster more frequently): the best articles which catch people’s attention are those with stuff like…
1. How to (Insert insecurity-fixer here)
2. X Steps to (becoming a better human being on some level)
3. Stop Doing These Things / Start Doing These Things
That is a short version. And, if you honestly take out all the celebrity “Guess Who’s Having a Baby with Whom” and “Guess Who We’re Saying Should Get Divorced/Break-Up Now Because It’ll Sell More Magazines, etc,” which are often littered in with those pesky updates on actual world events and news, you’ll see more and more of this trend.
As a perpetually insecure person on some level or another, especially one who is easily bored because I am too smart for my own good or I am just developing adult ADD, I can honestly admit I’ve gone to several of these sites myself. I also know, having a website of my own, how desperate people are to get attention, gain credibility, and find an audience in a world where we are constantly distracted by internet articles telling us how to have the Best Life Ever(!) and ads for free Flappy Bird downloads.
Think I am wrong?
1. How many of these articles have websites or mailing list sign-ups at the bottom?
2. How many of these articles have biographies of people with interesting pictures of them looking in a particular way that doesn’t make you think “WTH?”
3. Are the biographies using links to other websites? Do you think they’d like it if you clicked it and went to their home website? Sometimes there is even a link for you to buy something. Isn’t that helpful!?
4. What about social media links? Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Instagram? Fart Radar? If they are present, someone wants you to follow them. Or in political terms, appease them.
5. Is the article something you are genuinely going to take to heart, remember, and put all your energy into changing yourself to conform to its message? (Hint: No, probably not.)
My point is just you’re looking for advice from people who 1) Probably don’t know you, 2) Don’t have your life story or personality, 3) Generally cater to a general audience, and 4) Have motivation to lie to you or lead you on if it is in their best interest to do so.
And in regards to Question #5 above, chances are if this is something you do desperately need assistance finding the answer, then chances are you will not change until you have someone else checking up on you, or you put seriously more effort towards solving other than spending a few hours sitting in front of your computer, asking Google to grant you the answers. Harsh? A bit, probably. But I’ve been there and I know it’s the easiest thing to do to save face and still feel like you’re trying to put forth effort in something. And as someone who writes, has her own website, and believes in helping people, it’s better you hear it sooner rather than later that the Internet is probably not the best places for answers for your life. Of course, there is the occasional exception…
What are some of your favorite blog posts that have *changed your life* or something?