Profanity as clickbait

Image: Kristina Balić

I’m seeing it a lot lately. Especially on Medium.

Drop a Fuck in the headline and cross your fingers that the ‘view’ count will rise.

It kind of reminds me of when we were kids and first started cussing around our friends. I remember, it was so liberating. So rebellious. The kid with the dirtiest mouth was also the coolest.

Now, this is no diatribe against profanity in general. I’m a fan, and I use it myself. For me, it’s a literary power tool used when I want to evoke or express a certain emotion with readers.

If you want to use profanity, please do it. I HATE it when I use a carefully-chosen curse word or four and I get emails from do-gooders telling me how offended they are.

I’m not offended. Not at all. We’re all adults here. This is just a call to be mindful. Whenever I see trends like this, I get concerned. When I see people adopting little ‘hacks’ to get clicks, my stomach knots up. Because, like that song on the radio that you really like the first time you hear it, but they play it over and over and over again — it eventually just gets tired, muted, and banal.

Something to look out for...

Fuckers. 😜

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