I read a lot of articles on Medium, another publishing site, as well as blogs on WordPress and Blogger. A lot of pieces have titles that begin
“The ultimate guide to…”
“Simple tips to…”
“What it takes to succeed at…”
“How to become…”
“Strategies that really work…”
I know these titles are meant to get readers, reposts and ratings. And they work, because they get your attention and you think for a second, “This is just what I need.”
Maybe it is. But what do you know about the author? What’s his or her experience and expertise? What are their credentials? How do you know they know what they’re talking about? I’ll bet you don’t. Chances are you don’t check. Most of the time, you accept their words as authoritative. You read their advice, tips or strategies and think, “This is just what I need…”
That’s scary. Without knowing anything about the source, you are just taking someone’s word for it and implement their suggestions! Why is that? Why do we so easily give credibility to the massive amounts of information we take in each day via blogs, social media, and digital newsletters? On top of that, our friends and family are very quick to share, “So-and-so says we should try this…or go here…or eat this…” No wonder fake news works so well. Or bot-generated comments.
There must be some science to this. I’ll have to do a little research. What makes an anonymously generated idea so believable? Can we learn to be more discerning?
I’ll let you know what I find out. And I’ll bet you’ll believe me, too.