We get it; people get desperate after realising how miserable and hopeless they are in relationships. So they Google for guides and other bullshit for the tiniest chance of future success. Let’s cut the crap unlike Thought Catalog and get straight to the point why you should stop this bad practice.
1. Created for Sole Purpose of Gaining Viewership
All Blog Posts, Articles and News were created and published on the internet for free for One Main Purpose: Revenue/Money. Yes, that’s right, even this one. Nowadays, Money can be earned so easily and invisibly on the Internet through so many ways; News/Media Companies is one of those ways. Nobody in the right mind would produce content for people if there weren’t any money for them to grab off the Internet in the first place. But how? I am not even paying the Author for reading, how does he or she even earn hundreds or even thousands per viral article?
You are right and wrong at the same time. By reading the Article for free, you have generated revenue indirectly through impressions for Advertisements (Eg. There’s no such thing as AdBlock on Facebook). Sponsors who pay the Author a lump sum for “reviewing their brands/businesses” (Which is why 90% of the Reviews you find online are always positive) etc.
So apparently the same rule applies to relationship guides. Websites like Thought Catalog, Wikihow, Datingmetrics, etc. all seem to thrive and do pretty well with the web traffic purely on relationship guides.
2. Interesting Headlines but No Real Content
Be it a good or bad article, Media/Publishing Companies have to invest some or all of their effort in writing the best headlines if they are serious about reaching a large audience. Big publishers might even go to the lengths of purchasing stock photos for their posts just to ensure the visual appeal of their posts are up to standard (Meaning Facebook users like you and me will stop scrolling on Facebook to read their post). If you are a blogger yourself, there are many free online headlines analyser that can help determine the effectiveness of your headings and title/the level of your clickbait-ness, just like this one.
Honesty is better than sugar-coated bullshit. To be as blatantly and brutally honest as we can, the title and featured image of this article and any other article you find on the web is designed to appear visually appealing to readers. In other words, clickbait. How many times have you clicked on a title like “9 Reasons Why You Should Marry Her” or “10 Signs Your Date is a Jerk” (I totally made those up, but I am 99% sure you can find articles with the same exact titles!) and realise the article has nothing to offer you or simply not to your expectations? Yep, that’s because you just got click baited, as with every other article.
Let me give you an example on one of ThoughtCatalog’s article: These Are The Things Girls Never Tell Guys
1. We masturbate. Sometimes a lot. (Why would you even type that, I’m sure guys don’t go around telling girls that too.)
4. We truly appreciate you going down on us. (Everyone does!)
18. No, we can’t stand your nosy mothers, especially when they call us every given day. (Give some respect)
21. We fart, we burp (You are Human)
22. We read your zodiac thoroughly (Telling us to make us think you are mentally disabled.)
To avoid getting clickbait, here are a few steps:
- Get yourself click baited at the start.
- Evaluate and try to remember the sources of these relationship guides (Most probably Thought Catalog)
- Avoid clicking on these sources in future no matter how interesting the article might seem (Since it’s most likely a waste of time anyway).
- If you are on Social Media, check who is the one who shared the article. Avoid clicking on posts shared by your friends who have a poor track record of sharing meaningful content. Or just stop following them on Facebook.
- There are many idiots on the Internet. A relationship guide with thousands of shares doesn’t mean it’s a useful handbook.
3. Every Relationship is Unique
Well, this is a cliché reason, so we are just going to write for the sake of writing it. No one’s love life is completely identical to anyone. The way people act, the way they behave, the way they react to different situations and the way they handle conflicts is always unique to their personality and character. It is unfair to categorise everyone and generalise people based on the category you think they belong to.
Even if you do happen to read a relationship guide, which in your opinion is good, read it sceptically (As with News Articles). Use it only as a form of reference. Anyone can write and call it a guide. Never follow it blindly and then blame the author when things don’t go according to plan. You have a brain. Learn to use it. Now that you have learnt this; remember to take this article with a grain of salt too!
4. You Might Suck Even More
Relationship guides prey on your want and desire to improve yourself for the opposite sex. Sometimes, it is almost too easy to misguide people with misleading info. With an established site and a loyal base of readers, Authors can effortlessly influence and fool people with false information and yet appear to be a credible source. Continuing from points 2 and 3, it is true that you might get even worse at relationships since you are deliberately lowering your ability to assess situations in relationships and increasing your dependency on relationship advice from strangers.
Everyone has their ups and downs in the love lives. Face it. Deal with it and develop your style of handling problems. Stop following guides written by teens and complain that you suck at relationships afterwards. You don’t. Have some confidence and stop googling for all your problems in life.
Fun Fact: Thought Catalog and other similar sites are usually written by not just one individual, but a whole group of contributors who may have zero experience in their love lives.
5. Unrealistic Guidelines and Standards
Again, similar to points 2 and 3, many relationship guides are superficially written. These guides set high and unrealistic standards of love which in turn, inculcate childish and immature mindsets into anyone who take the articles seriously, namely teenagers.
Titles like “7 Things You Should Find in Your Next Partner”, “You are the Reason Your Love Life Suck” etc. (Made that up again) always seem to list some factors that are only achievable in Movies and Films aka happily ever after. I’m sure you have heard your parents argue. I’m sure their relationship isn’t 100% perfect.
Still don’t believe us? Read this stupid Relationship Guide written by the Guidesify team: Methods to Get Your Crush To Like You (For Guys)
It is time to take on the Giants! Share it with your friends to give them a wake-up call.