This is the best thing you will ever see. This is the worst thing you will ever see. This is so great/wonderful/horrific it made me cry. Wait until you see this, it will change your life forever. I hate click bait. I also despise where they can’t even put a couple line items on one page but have each



separate so they can display more ads which take a really long time to load so it isn’t even worth clicking no matter how alluring the click bait is.

But what are we really doing with all this superlative crap? Most of life isn’t a highlight. Most of life isn’t superlative. Most of life is routine and boring and we don’t even know what we had for lunch two days ago even though eating is one of the basics of staying alive.

Everyone is beautiful, according to Dove. So, what do we call someone who is above average in the looks department? If the person who looks like she was hit in the face with a bag of nickels is beautiful, what do we call someone who is a model and is paid for looking really, really, really good?

How is one of the click bait life hack items where they say something so mundane like “Keep track of your passwords” going to change my life? Everyone keeps track of their passwords because there are a million of them. Or else, we bug the company and tell them we forgot our password. I had to do that this morning in order to destroy, delete, and get rid of that damned LinkedIn profile I made as an experiment. I didn’t even know which email address they had on record, but I managed. My list of saved passwords didn’t include it and yet, I mastered the problem easily. Most of the life hacks are just like this.

I lately saw a life saving life hack where some asshat covered a slit toilet paper roll with foil so he/she could use it to hold a tube of wrapping paper neatly rolled for storing. What did the toilet paper roll need a cover of foil for? Why is this a life hack? Why will it save my life? My not nicely rolled paper still wrapped the Christmas presents.

We are a curious species and so the click bait people keep using these phrases to pique our curiosity. And then we are disappointed because the link doesn’t provide us with anything useful or anything wonderful or even anything hideous. It just makes our life more mundane.

All the superlatives are being demeaned and washed out. They leave their true definition behind and when something horrific happens, we have no words anymore.

The Taliban recently entered a school and killed nearly 100 schoolchildren with a total of over 140 dead in the encounter. This is truly horrific. But when that word is used to describe an abandoned dog left on the streets, there doesn’t seem to be a word available for the horrors of terrorism. And when any act of violence is called terrorism, even that word is washed out to mean “badness” instead of killing almost 100 kids.

In a world of superlatives, we have used up all the BIG words on little things and when something really is outside the middle of the Bell curve, we don’t have a word for it. We are using them inappropriately and destroying their meanings.

If everyone is beautiful, beautiful is average.

If every bad thing is terrorism, terrorism is just any bad thing.

If everything will make you cry, you might consider buying stock in Kleenex or getting on a mood elevator.

Life is lived in the middle of the Bell curve and that is a good thing. If our lives were completely lived on the fringes of really bad or really good, we would be exhausted. We need the middle of the curve to live a life that is filled with the routines of happiness and the occasionally giddy high. And we can tolerate the daily disappointments and have the strength to survives the crushing defeats.

Even while watching adventure shows, there is tedium, but it is cut from the show. I’ve been watching Star Trek on Amazon prime. In the Next Generation, Picard would ask how far it was to their destination and Data would answer something like “47 hours, 38 minutes, and 17 seconds at our current speed” and eventually learned to drop the seconds. But we weren’t treated to nearly two days of boring travel. There was a commercial and then BAM, the Enterprise was at the desired location and the show could move forward.

Even the Enterprise had to get through two days of tedium. Think of that. Most of life is not superlative and for that we should be grateful. But we need to realize that the click bait community is doing something to our language. They are castrophizing or superlativizing everything and thus taking the mean, the average, the everyday stuff, and leaving us no words to describe the hideous nor the sublime.

So, watch your words. They mean things until we destroy their meaning. And if you value your time, don’t bother ever clicking on any link. It isn’t that wonderful and it sucks up your everyday life for no good reason.