Irresistible lures

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These irresistible lures pop up on social media all the time.  I saw the one about net worth on Twitter just a few moments ago.  I went back to try to find it, and it was gone.  In other words, it was a paid ad of some kind, trying to lure me into clicking on its link.

How many of these do you notice?

Do you ever getting drawn into the ones where they are trivia based:  90-percent of people can't name these famous musicians from the 1960s, or something of the like?

I know I can beat it, you think to yourself....and CLICK, off you go into an ad invested hell hole.  I find myself clicking through these kind of sites far too often.  They are prolific on Facebook and even on mainstream news sites.

Make no mistake about it; these are all advertising message delivery systems.  

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We are so easily drawn in by images that take us behind the veil, into unseen territory:  a celebrity's home, a war zone, a photo of a celebrity looking absolutely awful.

Advertisers are tuning into our baser instincts to penetrate a media market that is impossibly saturated and expensive.  Tried and true vehicles for reaching customers are fading into the sunset faster than you can transfer your junk mail directly from your mailbox into the recycling container.

Awareness is everything.  Watch what draws you in and where it takes you.  Ask yourself why you ended up on a website cluttered with pop ups and flashing links, yet still you look for that arrow that will safely take you to the next page featuring that 1980s television star looking horribly old and shabby.  147 images later you carry on with your day, feeling a little dirty and less fulfilled than you should.

In very much the same way, the cut-paste-share memes on Facebook tune into our weaker selves.  Someone we know has posted something and has asked us to do something to prove that we are indeed friends.  A threat of being unfriended hangs over our heads and we take the road most travelled and quickly copy, cut and paste the message into one of our own.  "Done" we write as a reply on our friend's post.  Whew!  I won't get unfriended now.  But where did these messages begin, and why?

Social media contains the best and the worst of all of us.  It plays out in front of our eyes every single day.  The tragedy is that it has become so ubiquitous that we barely notice.  We no longer question, challenge, or filter, because it has become overwhelming.

Back to awareness.  Take a trip through your feed.  Invest five minutes in observing what you see, what attracts your eye, and how you respond.  Try to discern what is authentic and what is contrived or strategized.

The next time you are about to copy, cut and paste, and share a pleading message from a friend, or click on that post about the names of the countries in Europe that 95-percent of people can't name, take a pause.  Ask yourself why you're about to do what you're about to do?  The answer might be a defining moment in your social media life.

Have an awesome day.

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