“Real or Satire Clicked on www.boredomtherapy.com and What They Discovered Will Shock and Awe You Into New Stratospheres of Amazeballsness.”
This should give you some idea as to what Boredom Therapy is: clickbait bordering on emoterrorism. To their credit, they’re hardly at the emo-terror-levels of its role-model — Upworthy. But even their website tagline is consistent with the tactic: “Trending stories you can’t miss.”
Bored Therapy isn’t cutting out its own swathe in the ever-soiled underpants of this sort of journalism. They’re not even particularly timely. Take their coverage of photographer James Mollison’s Where Children Sleep photoset.
I first heard about the photo-series on NPR around June of 2012. References appear as early as August 2011 on The Atlantic and March 2011 on Visual News. From there, it tip-toed around netstream media through 2012 and early 2013. It’s received a massive spike with the recent proliferation of the click-bait viral-mill style web journalism.
It’s unfair to cast such a disparaging look at Bored Therapy, and they certainly aren’t the worst offenders. Yes, they are click-bait, designed to get as many people to their site and clicking ads (or not clicking ads) so to get a piece of that massive pile o’ Google Ad money. And it’s not exactly fair to call them out on being late to the party with many of their topics. After all, NPR picked up on it over a year after-the-fact. Some things are worth repeating, even ad nauseam. And I’m sure Mollison doesn’t mind.
Even looking back at Bored Therapy’s Mollison coverage, the headline is simply, “Here Are 16 Children And Their Bedrooms From Around The World. This Will Open Your Eyes.” They refrain from superlatives, like most shocking, or hyperbole, will utterly amaze you. Poverty on local, national, and international levels tend to be swept under our collective mental rugs. It’s good to have that rug lifted and shaken sometimes. And it is eye-opening.
From Boredom Therapy’s Facebook page’s About section:
Inspiring and captivating stories you just can’t miss. We share things worth sharing.
That’s fair. The world needs inspiration.
And they’re not as bad as Upworthy. (Ooh! Maybe that can be their new tagline?)
We’re marking this ‘real,’ since we haven’t opted to make any categories beyond the two that’s in our name. But you want to be careful sharing anything that is presented to you as facts. Check for cited links, and then click them.