You’re on your computer, doing your thing. Maybe that means browsing twitter or checking your emails. Maybe that means trying to sell your hair for a quick buck – WHO KNOWS. Whatever it is you’re doing, it’s the identity badge that will first pull you away from your task at hand. That is what will distract you, what will catch your eye, make your ears perk up and have you singing “ME! THIS! THIS. IS. ME.”
The identity badge could be any number of things. It could be the bacon-lover identity badge, nestled comfortably in the Buzzfeed tweet “14 Things You Need To Know About Your Bacon.” It could be an awkward identity badge, a cat-lover identity badge, even a David Lynch fan identity badge.
Other times it’s not the identity badge that initially catches your eye, but a quiz, made by the Buzzfeed team – also known as the promise of being handed an identity badge on a silver platter. Which Twitter Founder Are You? They ask derisively. What Flavor Hot Pocket Should You Make Love To? What Generation Do You Actually Belong In? The headlines are one big ruse, a calculated attempt to ensnare millenials.
Me? I can still recall the day of the fall – that is my fall…ing prey to Buzzfeed’s lure. It was silly, really, stupid, foolish. As always, it was the title that first drew me in: “Cookies Shaped Like Shot Glasses Exist And They’re Magical.” Nahhhhh, I thought, blood rushing to my cheeks, feeling like my Lancelot was finally coming to rescue me. That can’t happen…I mumbled to myself, incredulous, but secretly giddy inside at the mere thought of it.
And so I clicked. I did it, okay? I was about to call my sponsor and admit everything – my weaknesses, my cravings, EVERYTHING. But instead I clicked. I let my sweet tooth get the best of me and dictate my decisions. Though I will admit: at the time I felt I had no choice in the matter, that I was going to click on “Cookies Shaped Like Shot Glasses Exist And They’re Magical,” feast my eyes, and drool on my keyboard and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
Then…the photo. If it was the title that compelled me to click, then it was the photo that urged me to stay and read. Ah, that alluring, seductive photo, visible proof that these cookie cups really do exist: 3 cookies, lined up, shaped like shot glasses – just like they promised! – a salacious stream of milk topping off the last one. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fully aroused.
It didn’t help that every question and GIF in the article tugged right at my heartstrings. So you love milk. And you love cookies. But the process of eating them together can be so hard. Yes, Buzzfeed, YES. I shook my head in affirmation, my mouth beginning to water and my eyes beginning to tear up. How did they know??? The frustration of uncooperative glasses. The despair of over-dunking and having the cookie crumble into its milky abyss, they continued, pulling me deeper and deeper in. And then, just as fast as I was ensnared, it was all gone. In a flash it was all over – just like that.
I hovered my hand over the mouse, slowly inching my way to the “x” button that would close the browser and put an end to this. But wait – unibrows? Cute kids? Olympic gymnasts? Cheesy pizzas fashioned into faces? AARON CARTER?!! I couldn’t leave – I couldn’t do it. The headlines reached out to me, took hold of my ADD and complied with all of its demands: Cats! Cup n Noodles! J. Law’s many facial expressions! THE HUMAN ETCH-A-SKETCH!
And that’s when I knew that the end was nigh.