It’s hard to define clickbait, but most of us know it when we see it. Take headlines like these, for example:
You Won’t Believe What She Did After THIS Happened
This Finance Wizard Just Issued the Most Dire Warning for 2021
One Website Knows Exactly When You’re Going to Die
Eating A Rare Fruit Can Cure Cancer
Read This If You Think Angels Aren’t Real
Do Two Simple Things Every Day to Make Millions
The Shocking Truth Meghan Markle Doesn’t Want You to Know
Of course, true clickbait isn’t just about the headline.
It’s about the content itself.
The writer wastes your time with endless prologue, feeding you a bunch of useless information you already know. They force you to click through the story one paragraph at a time. The writing doesn’t even try to be interesting. There’s no voice, no opinion, nothing. It’s stuffed with images. It’s vapid. By the end, you feel like your brain has shrunk a size. …
There’s something that still surprises me, even though it shouldn’t: An attractive woman pursues a man.
He rejects her.
He’s polite, but firm. She takes the hint.
Every time it happens I go, “Did I really just watch that?”
I’ve seen it at coffee shops, bars, parties, you name it. This goes against everything I was ever taught about dating and relationships. To be honest, it’s rare. I don’t see it that often. Maybe I should.
Maybe one key to better dating is for more men to feel like they don’t need to date or sleep with attractive women to prove their masculinity. …
My best friend slept with my roommate’s fiance.
Hang on, it gets worse.
Immediately after, she called my fiance up at midnight and confessed to him. She cried. She begged him to keep it a secret.
Then she asked him out for coffee. They wound up going for a long walk. They talked about me, and our sex life. He described what I was like in bed, including what turned him off.
The next day, my fiance told me my best friend was asking him to keep a big secret for her. “I can’t tell you what it is.”
“Why not?” I asked. …
Her book was even more beautiful than she was.
Even the cover was easy on the eyes. Out for only a few weeks, it was already on The New York Times best-seller list. She had two ivy league degrees, in English and law. Everyone wanted to talk to her.
Not so much.
I wanted to be her. Watching her made me want to go back in time and slap myself for wasting so much of it.
We were on the same panel at a conference. All the questions came her way. A huge line formed at her signing table. …
I should’ve quit sooner.
It started with the launch of my first book. I’d spent four years working on the stupid thing. It won two major awards, then finally got published with a small indie press, with some glowing reviews.
The book tour was a disaster.
Everything you can imagine going wrong did. Bookstores forgot about my events. Newspapers misprinted dates. Feature writers got the name of my book wrong. They got my name wrong. Reviewers wrote rave reviews that got cut at the last minute. Famous authors offered me speaking events and blurbs and then changed their minds.
Mentors laughed at me. …
Whether it’s someone hurling insults, or just stealing your work, some of us deal with parades of hate.
Reporting hate doesn’t always work. Even when it does, that doesn’t undo the damage. That’s your job. In school they told us words could never hurt us — a lie. Words injure, sometimes worse than stones. A third-degree black belt once told me, “Words hurt, and they hurt bad.”
I’ve been punched in the face. …
You spend a lifetime wondering what’s wrong with you— why you always feel like the chalk outline of a person. Why happiness always peeks through the curtains, but never answers.
Someone you love leaves you because, “You’re not happy.” You tell him you are. You beg him to stay.
He forces you to prove it. Prove you’re happy.
You try, but you can’t. You fail.
In his breakup sermon, he convinces you that you’re miserable. You spend years living in this lie — considering yourself broken, unsuitable for a relationship, until you can feel a way you’ve never felt before. …
Bad behavior comes loaded with all kinds of cool features. It’s a luxury item you probably can’t afford.
Take this boss of yours, for starters.
He’s resigning after years of terrible leadership — but keeping his salary, which sextuples what you make. He plans to retire next year, a multi-millionaire with a failed institution in his wake.
The world will never stop cranking out buffoons.
Charles Darwin said it best:
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
— The Descent of Man
Better get used to that, or you’ll die from petition fever. Don’t get too used to it, though. Not so used to it you turn into a sycophant. …
The world is full of toys. My daughter just learned this fact. Yesterday, she grabbed my phone and started playing with the screen. She burst into tears when I had to take it away from her. It was the first time she’d ever looked at me with that mix of hurt and scorn. But she bounced back in minutes— found something else to play with.
The moment reminded me of a relentless truth about goals and desires. …
Yesterday some dude came up to my table, snapped a lid on my ice coffee, and shoved a straw in it. “You don’t want to spill that all over your laptop,” he said. “I’m just looking out for you.”
Yeah, he topped it off with a wink.
Someone’s always explaining why they shoved a straw in my drink. Metaphorically speaking…
Sounds like one of those first world problems. Right? But it scales. A stranger who feels like he can handle my drink perfectly illustrates how the world treats us like its 5-year-old daughters. …