People do not read anymore; they only scan headlines
Proof that people do not read anymore really came home to me with a recent article I wrote about grammar. My title was tongue in cheek, ironic, and pointing to a common problem encountered almost daily on the Internet.
I was pleased with my article, which was titled, Writters Who Should Of Done A Grammar Check, because it raised a number of common errors made all too often by writers, but boy, did the grammar police have fun criticising my grammar in the title.
The problem of course, was that obviously they read no further than the title before they decided to bombard me with Twitter messages and comments pointing out that I had made a huge grammatical error in my post’s title.
Clearly the grammar police don’t bother reading before attacking.
Oddly enough, they all, without exception, criticised my use of ‘should of’ instead of ‘should have’, but failed to notice that I had intentionally spelt writers incorrectly.
So much for their attention to detail!
However, the problem extends further than my little post.
The Mail Online clearly understood some time ago that people do not read anymore. So much so that they break every search engine rule, which limits titles to sixty characters, by writing titles that give the whole story in the headline, to use people do not read anymore to their own advantage.
By doing this, The Mail Online has become one of the most highly trafficked sites on the Internet. Why? Because people can share, Like or retweet without the bother of having to go to the effort of actually reading the story.
Take one totally inane story from The Mail Online; I found.
Really, there’s no need to read the story at all, is there?
One headline, a few dumb pics, no story at all, and people will share it like crazy.
I could replace Charles and Camilla with a cute dog story, and have the same sharing success.
Call me old-fashioned, but I like to read an article, story or even a Tweet before I decide to share it with my followers and friends. But because people do not read anymore, I am probably in the minority.
I can, want to, and do read.