The term "clickbait" has been around for a while now: an online article that baits you with the title to get clicks, thus generating the site money. They're fairly easy to spot - they claim that a list of things will shock you (especially number 5!); or you just won't believe how so-and-so has changed since their role as so-and-so; or that some profession will hate you for the secrets they will tell you. Even without the shock factor, it's still tempting to click that "(insert number) ways you can overcome motion sickness/homesickness/friendlessness" article, and most of the time has some picture of something totally unrelated to the subject. Sometimes it looks so intriguing I just have to click, and then I'm disappointed with myself for giving poorly laid out sites my attention (and money because of ads), as well as disappointed I didn't really learn how to overcome motion sickness. This is why I won't write listicles.

A "listicle" on Odyssey is an article combined with a list. It's an article in the sense that it's something an Odyssey content creator writes for the site, but its really just a list of things, most of the time with pictures and/or gifs. The title is always in the format of "50 reasons to love your boyfriend," or something similar.

While it garners interest and clicks and attention, I refuse to be even more a part of the clickbait journalism than I already am. Even Odyssey titles are often similar, and they are almost never in the style of actual news headlines.

My theory on this is that Odyssey and other clickbait websites don't actually generate news. They generate opinions. Number 7 on a list being shocking(!) is opinion. Reasons you should love your boyfriend are opinion. Personal reactions and hatred toward the presidential candidates is opinion. I don't think I've seen a popular news article on Odyssey, and I'm certain that clickbait gets more attention, because then reading the article is the only way to get attention. News articles give the information in the title.

I won't write any listicles because they are what keeps poor quality self-proclaimed "journalism" to thrive - journalism that doesn't bring news, doesn't do anything investigative, and most of the time doesn't even bring well thought out opinions or arguments. Clickbait journalism only survives because of clickbait, and I'm not going to contribute to that even more.