Click to Read Something Amazing! (rant incoming)

I’m the first person to recommend buying organic produce when you can, particularly anything that appears on the dirty dozen list. I’m all for clean living and natural remedies and I try to keep an open mind when reading those annoying emails about using coconut oil in 100 different ways. But one thing I cannot stand is getting emails that are click-bait or emails that link you to a website that is clearly trying to sell you a specific product. Like a specific probiotic blend that is somehow so much better than all the other probiotic blends, ever.

It’s particularly frustrating when the email subscriptions started out being helpful and interesting and then became gimmicky.

My biggest beef with this is that it hurts the credibility of the natural movement, if I should call it that. I know, through first hand experience, that removing chemicals from your home and cleaning up your diet actually helps. My health is much better now that I’ve made those changes, and I want to share that with people because I want everyone to feel as good as they possibly can. It does not help when sites start emailing out click-bait, or links that go to a poorly made sales pitch.

I’m tired of getting emails with titles like, “The Scary Reason You’re Suddenly So Forgetful,” or, “This common side-dish CAUSES cancer!” or, “Never eat this surprising food again!” Ugh. I’m a fan of efficiency. I’d like for my email titles to be as succinct as possible so that I can decide if it’s really something I’m interested in before I open the email. Sometimes I open them anyway to see if the email body actually explains the title. It never does (or it’s so rare I can’t think of it happening recently). Most often it’s a paragraph or two with the title repeated several times, one or two of which will be hyperlinked to the page they want you to visit.

The kicker is that sometimes I click on the links. I always feel like an idiot once the page loads, like, what was I expecting to happen, anyway? I knew the page would come up with huge red text blocks interspersed in the regular type with testimonials. Or, the best ones are the videos where someone claiming to be a doctor of something is narrating as a hand “draws” things with dry-erase makers.

If we could just stop circulating these things, that would be great. Because, you and I both know that there are people out there calling the organic food movement phony and labeling supplements as snake-oil. And, sure, sometimes they might be right. In general, they’re not, so it bothers me when I get ammunition against the movement in my inbox that has been sent to me by someone claiming to be a proponent of a natural lifestyle. They lose their credibility in my mind when they send me some link to a sales pitch with a click-bait title. Like they’re trying to dupe someone into giving them money.

Maybe that’s what bothers me the most about it: it feels like they really are snake-oil salesmen. Even if they have a legitimate product. Maybe they need better marketers or something.

It’s also frustrating because sometimes the emails are using your emotions to manipulate you into reading the story. I would much rather just be presented with neutral information that I could decide what to do with after reading. I don’t need to be tricked into clicking on a link because I’m afraid I might miss something vitally important to my health.

The trickery must stop if anyone wants to be taken seriously.

/rant

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