Secrets of Language and Clickbait Headlines

Today I will show you a feature of language that you probably haven’t taken time to appreciate yet. Marketers are using this against you all the time. It’s been hiding in plain sight your entire life.

If you want to have more control over your spending, or you want to feel content with your body, this is might help you.

After you read this, you might think about controling what you read and watch like a diet, in the same way that you choose to avoid shovelling cardboard fast food into your mouth. I installed Ad-Block for this reason a long time ago. It’s good for your brain.

Did you notice how you imagined the warm taste of fast food when I mentioned it just now?

The feature I am warning you about is the same one that caused you to imagine eating fast food. It’s like this: When you read, hear or say something, your brain imagines it automatically. It happens every time you understand what is said (or else you couldn’t understand it).

Marketers use this to install bullshit urges in otherwise happy people all the time.

As another example: I chose “warn” you instead of “tell” you up in the fourth paragraph: It conveys danger. You probably didn’t notice my word choice, and you might think it’s a small detail, but it matters. In the other version of this post, you might have clicked away already.

What about a remedy? How do you defend against this?

One option is to purposefully create another image in your head. Something positive. This is a general-purpose remedy.

The other solution is avoidance. I wrote that you might think about this like diet. Look for the source of your woes and replace it with a healthier habit. (Beauty magazines aren’t doing you any favors.)

I wrote something about clickbait in the headline. That word is attention grabbing. That you got this far is evidence that my point is real.

 

 

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