The easiest and quickest way for news websites to make money is to find large audiences; the easiest and quickest way to find large audiences is to write articles that are widely shared on Facebook. “Shares” are the most important metric in the world right now.
And, according to a depressing new study, via the Washington Post, “59 percent of links shared on social media have never actually been clicked.” The widely accepted assumption that a social-media share indicates an engaged reader or viewer who cares about what they’re sharing is false. You could put a good headline over 2,000 words of gibberish and people would share it.
Anyhow, here’s a story I’m working on.
Sonic the Hedgehog was nervous. It had been a while since he had gone on a date. He was just coming out of a six-year relationship, and the whole scene had changed. Online dating? Tinder? He never thought he’d have to rely on algorithms to meet Mr. Right, but here he was.
He’d shown up early to the restaurant. Jitters had gotten the best of him and despite being a blue hedgehog that can run at the speed of sound, he had been worried about getting held up in traffic.
While he waited for his date to show up, he flipped through his paramour’s Tinder profile again. He had swiped right immediately; one photo was all it took. He was tall, dark, and handsome. The profile didn’t say much, but his pictures indicated that he was a fan of tennis, and had an affinity for the color purple. A royal color, Sonic thought to himself.
Their texts had been uneven, but texting was never the best way for Sonic to present himself. The speedster was so much more magnetic in person.
Then, he walked through the door. Sonic spotted him before he spotted Sonic. Sonic rose to greet him. Sonic said his name with a wave, raising his voice on the last syllable to turn it into a slight question. “Waluigi?”
“Waaaaaaaahh,” the brooding hunk replied, a devilish twinkle in his eye.
It certainly seemed like tonight was going to be a night to remember. Also, the chef at the restaurant was Jimmy Neutron.