A quick thought while the baby sleeps. I get accused of writing “clickbait” a lot.
Mostly due to the headlines of my articles (or, more accurately, their promo lines on social media). I see why people say this, because often those headlines are very provocative. As anyone who knows literally anything about journalism can attest, however, writers almost never write their own headlines (and never ever write their promo copy). My headlines, deks, promo copy and pull quotes are all by whomever is editing the piece. It is this person’s job to: make sure the headline sounds like the “voice” of the publication, and, yes, bring readers in. My editors do a wonderful job of this, and it is a job that has existed since long before the Internet clicked its first click.
You might also argue, though, that I really do write clickbait. That I write for attention or the sole purpose of causing an uproar. Nothing I say will ever change the minds of people who believe this, but I thought the Schu-Live Crew might be interested in learning that I never write to bait anyone. Honestly. I do not intend to provoke to the extent that I do. I am not an “attention whore”–if I were, I would have said yes to an offer to appear on national daytime TV this week. But I turned that offer down, because I knew that any more national attention to #Birdghazi would cause yet more threats, harm, death wishes and distress to my family. Honestly. I am not trying to make anyone mad. I just happen to have strongly-held opinions about certain sacred cows (in academia and now in parenting) and those ideas happen to reaaaaaaaaaally piss some people off. I am always honestly shocked when people get so mad at me, because I am an intelligent person and I’ve generally thought these opinions through carefully. They seem, if not obvious, than at least understandable.
Aaaaand the baby’s up, so, bye! YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT.