Clickbait works because apparently the human mind doesn’t like gaps.
Give us a headline that says “This Man Hugged A Polar Bear, What Happened Next Will Blow Your Mind” and our rather annoying brain will will send a message to our triggery mouse-clicking finger to go forth an investigate.
A bunch of websites describe this as the curiosity gap. But you knew that already because otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this post.
So I decided to embark on a kind of public service campaign to bridge the curiosity gap in a crappy clickbait article that popped up this week.
First up we have this little gem which turned up on the bottom of The West’s homepage: What happened to Tabitha?
Bewitched was a regular on regional television programming during the 80s so I remember it pretty well.
I survived 24 clicks into this horrid “gallery” which went through mostly boring tripe about how Elizabeth Montgomery remained beautiful into her old age. After that I gave up, there was no information about where “Tabitha from “Bewitched” Ended Up.”
Here’s what did actually learn from the click-generating piffle… although I can only wonder what useful information was pushed out of my brain to make room for it:
- Alcohol was so readily available on set. Cast members were sometimes drunk during filming and there was a group of tee-totallers in the US who kept a running tab on how often characters were seen with a glass of booze.
- Elizabeth Montgomery was intensely private and her age was incorrect in her obituary.
- Darren was actually spelled Darrin. Tabitha was also spelled Tabatha.
About the only thing about Erin Murphy – who had the longest run as Tabitha Stephens, the child of Darrin and Samantha Stephens (thanks Wikipedia) – I found in the Trend Chaser gallery was a quote from her saying Elizabeth Montgomery had a “naughty” sense of humour not unlike Lucille Ball. Hardly worth the headline.
So I went in search of Erin Murphy.
And here she is:
— Erin Murphy (@Erin_Murphy) August 18, 2016
Now I’m not entirely sure that ended up on the Hollywood Museum, as a question on jeopardy or in in Hulk Hogan’s celebrity wrestle-off is really worth the “Ended Up” in the headline.
That said, Erin’s twitter profile says she’s a mother of six (!) and an advocate for autism awareness so on balance, that seems more worthy.
Also, THIS IS HER DOG.
She doesn’t have a dog. She has a cumulus cloud on legs. He’s a weather pattern. I love him.