“Clickbait” is king in this day of age. Our ability to “hear” eachother has largely been lost. We love the quick hit and rush that clickbait provides us. The headline sizzles in such a way that we “must” hear, see, and ultimately click whatever it is selling us.
And, within 30 seconds of reading soemthing, and scanning the bold font, we are hitting our back button in order to comment on what it is we just read, or to move onto the next thing, without gaining any real knowledge, or hearing what it is someone truly had to say. If someone writes a 3,000 word essay, we’ll give them 500 words to prove their point.
We Love Clickbait
Whether we would admit it or not, I believe most of us who use social media love clickbait and are hopelesssly addicted to it. After all, that’s what social media essentially is at the end of the day.
Never before in the history of the world have you been able to find out what 700 of your best friends think about instantly on any given topic on any given day with just the flick of your finger on a screen. And, all more or less in 140 characters.
We have all become conditioned for “wam, bam, thank you ma’am!” length content. Such is why I gave up strictly on blogging. I used to have another blog where I frequently typed 3,000 words. But I discovered as time went on, most people were giving up a “long form content” and, were at best, only reading the headlines and a few lines of what I took much time to write.
That’s why these days, I’m mostly focused on on podcasting. And while my show notes (like what you are reading today) resemble a blog post, my expression of thought here is primarily that of being focused on my actual podcast. For podcasting allows me to focus a lot of energy in putting together high quality content that explores a topic in depth with the hopes that people will actually take the time to listen to it, as most people who like listening to podcasts are happy to consume thoughts that consist of more than just a clickbait headline.
“To Hear” vs “Hearing”
In today’s podcast, I talk about the difference between what it means “to hear” and “hearing.” Simply “to hear” merely quires someone to have their ear externally stimulated by the stimuli known as sound. It’s an involuntary reflexive response, no different than a fish snapping at a lure floating in the water.
“Hearing,” however, requires intentionality, process, and real work. It involves willfully taking something in and chewing on it before deciding what to do in response. Hearing doenst care much for clickbait. Far from reflexive, it is an act of mediation that opens up the ears of our heart to hear something beyond mere sound. Hearing humbly seeks out information, and is willing to patiently weight a variety of differing opinions. It waits until someone is finish having their say before having their own.
I think as a people we need to become a people who practice hearing. We must become a people who dig beyond the headline, or the first couple results of our Google search. I think if we wish to practice hearing, we need to be a people who read all of the words on a page, seek out differing contrary opinions, and not be afriad to click the second, third, and fourth page of our Google search results.
Jesus said frequently in His teaching, “He who has ears, let them hear.”
I wanna be the type of person who truly hears. And I hope you will be such a person too. Lets stay away from the clickbait.
But most of us aren’t there. We aren’t following the exhortation in James 1:19 to be “Quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. ” Instead, we just get onto the speaking and angry stuff that we love so much. Things ought not be this way. We ought to become a people who are masters of the art of hearing.
For the rest of my insights on this issue, along with some funny stories and illustrations, I would encourage you to listen fully to today’s podcast at the top of the page.
Then I would love to hear back from you!
Links Mentioned In Today’s Podcast
- Politico article about Liberty Universty and Jerry Falwell, Jr nepotism scandal.
- Christianity Today article by Ed Stetzer about the suicide of pastor Jarrid Wilson.
- My prior controverisal podcast: Why I Don’t Own A Gun, And Would Never Kill Somone – Episode #22