“This Will Blow Your Mind”: examining the urge to click clickbaits

  • Alton Y.K. Chua, Anjan Pal, Snehasish Banerjee
  • Aslib Journal of Information Management, December 2020, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/ajim-07-2020-0214

Understanding digital temptations: An analysis of Internet users' urge to click clickbaits

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

What is it about?

Clickbaits refer to sensationalized headlines on the Internet that provide just enough information to rouse but not satisfy one’s curiosity (e.g., “What this Covid patient did will blow your mind”). People often fail to resist their urge to click clickbaits. But why? What factors predict their urge to click clickbaits? These are the questions that the current paper explores.

Why is it important?

As a by-product of ubiquitous Internet access, Internet addiction is now on the rise. And so is people's willingness to fall for digital temptations such as clickbaits. The findings of this paper can help improve society’s online resilience by bolstering individuals’ defence mechanism against digital temptations.


Dr Snehasish Banerjee
University of York

When it comes to digital temptations like clickbaits, I believe exercising mindfulness digitally can help. I define digital mindfulness as awareness of one’s immediate online experience. Being mindful enables one to exercise what I call personal digital restraint. People often fail to resist their urge to click clickbaits. But if they are digitally mindful, they might be less likely to fall for the curiosity trap surreptitiously set up by clickbaits. In sum, just as mindfulness is recommended to keep addiction at bay, I recommend digital mindfulness to manage digital temptations. By being digitally mindful, people will retain a better sense of control over their time online, and make their screen-time productive.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Snehasish Banerjee and Mr Anjan Pal