You ready for this?
You think you can handle this?
Saturday mornings, like many of my mornings, are spent on the internet. I check emails, I check playwright opportunities, I check up on news from the sports world, and I look for other writing opportunities.
Today, I clicked on a headline I knew I would ultimately regret. "30 Awkward Child Stars Turned Insanely Hot" (Click on the link at your own risk. I'd advise against it. I simply put it here for source material.)
I was intrigued. I like to look at awkward photos from our youth. The same photos are present in all of our lives. This might be fun.
Don't get me wrong, part of me knew what clicking this link would entail. As with many Buzzfeed or Huffington Post articles with similar headlines, I knew ultimately clicking this link would provide a letdown of sorts. I knew what I was getting into yet my mouse rolled over the headline and clicked.
I clicked because the photos they used made no sense. They used a picture of Minkus (Lee Norris) of Boy Meets World. The present day picture, next to the photo of a young Norris, was that of a blonde that was certainly not Mr. Norris. Any fan of One Tree Hill knows that Norris does not certainly look like a blonde female in her 20's.
I arrived at the site and clicked "Begin Slideshow". Things started off okay, with a picture of Taylor Swift now placed next to a picture when she was, I don't know, in the sixth grade. A side by side comparison did in fact prove that maybe she was a little awkward.
From there, it went downhill. I made it through about 20 pictures/celebrities and maybe one more could be considered awkward. Some of these celebrities, even as children or young teen performers, I have never considered awkward. Others, like Alyssa Milano, weren't awkward. These celebrities, especially as kids, were simply the byproduct of the fashion of the 80's. In that case, everyone was awkward in the late 80's.
Yet, I kept clicking. I moved ahead, seeing a picture of Justin Timberlake. His awkward photo? Taken from his days from 'N Sync, Timberlake had his platinum blonde hair. How awkward!!!
I stopped at 20. I didn't even get to see if Lee Norris was actually on the list. Out of 20 clicks, there were a total of two I'd consider awkward, two I'd give a "I can see that", and the rest as not awkward at all. Natalie Portman in The Professional? Nope. Hilary Duff? Nope. Zac Efron? Maybe.
I understand. It's all very subjective. You might very well decide to click on the link and decide for yourself. Maybe the last ten photos were of entirely awkward kids that validated the entire headline. Or maybe you'll judge them as all awkward child stars.
No more will I click on these types of headlines. I am never satisfied and end up angry at what constitutes "article" writing on the internet. Headlines need to grab the attention of the reader. I understand. What I don't understand are articles that don't provide any actual insight into what the headline is about or the headline is horribly misleading. At least create content that is relevant to the headline and not just a list with photos or videos.
I am taking a stand. No more will I click on these headlines that say "You Won't Believe" or "25 Things That..." It's the world we live in. I understand. I enjoy shutting the mind off once in awhile (Hence one of the reasons I clicked on the link to begin with). I enjoy seeking information, knowledge, and trivia but no longer will I click these links.
I am taking a stand. Will you stand with me?