If only people cared about their intellectual health as much as they think they care about their physical health. Take for example this recent page recommendation that appeared on my Facebook page because one of my friends “liked” the article. What did they think they were liking as opposed to what they were actually liking?
The spoiler is it looks pretty much that they were liking an ad for the NutriBullet ( an overmarketed bullshit blender if you have never heard of it). You can see the casual product placement in the image from the “like” and there’s a casual mention in the article to use it to chop up lemons.
So how do you write an article that is promoting a bullshit blender without it seeming like it is a bullshit blender promoting article? Well first you have to think up an excuse to use a blender. Then you need to create an article around the excuse.
In this case chopping up lemons to freeze is the excuse. A careful read will show that there’s no real reason cited to freeze the lemons at all – but using the verb “activate” in the headline has already primed the reader that something magic happens when the lemon is frozen. Let the imagination of the reader do the rest of the work.
Okay, so now we have the magical reason to blend a lemon, now we have to talk about why lemons are good for your health and we know that appeals to authority work well. That old “white coat” halo is dragged out by citing a source called Medical News Today – well that sounds like it should know what it is talking about. There’s no link to the site though, why would that be?
Probably because the site is a bunch of deep linked hoo-ha that burbles on about nonsense with no actual links to studies, just to keyword bait articles within it’s own site. Even when they mention the American Heart Association study that showed a possible link between citrus fruits and lowering stroke risk, the link they provide is from the word stoke to their information page on stroke.
I actually went one step further to check out who owns MNT and guess what? He’s an internet marketer – well he calls himself a “marketing and content professional” – no surprise really.
Anyway back to the original article and the parting gift of a YouTube video from a “fitness expert” taking about how healthy lemons are because they have vitamins in them and that for some reason not mentioned, you should rub a lemon on the rim of your glass when overseas ….hmmm ok?
So why is intellectual health not as popular as abs are? Is it because it is mostly invisible? I am leaning towards that we as social animals don’t like sticking out from the crowd and that somewhere along the line is became shameful or prideful to get smart. Bugger them! Exercise critical thinking – dive deeper than the headline – get those neurons firing!