Tuesday, July 19, 2016

When Articles Get "Internet Headlines"

Writer Abroad has had enough of the Internet lately. After going offline almost totally for a week and feeling much more at peace than she had for a long time, she realized that the Internet has been creating a lot of unnecessary angst in her life.

Sure, all the horrible events going on in the news lately are not helping. These things are not the Internet’s fault. But the Internet makes things horribly worse. Writer Abroad knows this inherently. It’s why she never reads the comments people make to her own articles. Because some of the articles she’s written have been given “Internet headlines” that purposely invoke strong emotions—whether the piece warrants them or not.

And that’s really the issue she has with the Internet. Today, any topic is dramatized. Drama creates sales. Creates likes. Creates sharing. Bias is in. Balanced, fair reporting, in most cases, is out. Today, with limited attention spans and unlimited information flying at us, it’s all about attention-grabbing, snack-able headlines. And not about much else.

How many times have you actually read an article and then read the comments? Most of the comments don’t even have anything to do with the article—they are just reactions to the emotional headline. And when headlines don’t match the article—or at least, the article’s tone, that’s a problem. As a culture, we’ve never had so much information, yet we’ve also never taken in so little of what we have.

Do you agree?

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  10. Hi Chantal,

    Yes, I definitely agree that media outlets exaggerate headlines, giving them a satirical feel. It's unfortunate that competition among journalism outlets has led to this, but some media organizations remain traditional in their headline writing. You just have to find the right paper.

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