‘Shit!‚’ I thought, leaping up from my desk and rushing to my window, bracing myself for the grim scenes that would no doubt be presented to me; cars overturned, houses being looted and the thick, acrid smoke of burning tyres hanging in the air as the news of Ashton Irwin’s new haircut proliferates amongst the masses.
But the streets are calm; the buses are running as normal and my neighbour busies himself in blissful ignorance under the bonnet of his car. ‘Poor sod‚’ I mutter. The news must have only just hit. In no time at all he’ll be swarmed by bloodthirsty gangs of anarchists, hell bent on destruction.
I reach for the door and turn the lock and then work my way around every window, ensuring every blind and curtain is closed, so as not to advertise myself as a willing victim to the imminent lynch mob.
Under the glow of my laptop I frantically jab ‘Ashton Irwin haircut’ desperate to find some news as to why everyone is losing their minds.
As the truth begins to unravel, the fear and panic slowly ebbs away, replaced by relief and confusion. As it happens, Aston Irwin is one fraction of the band 5 Seconds of Summer; an identikit clone of One Direction hailing from Australia. For those of you old enough to chew solid food and therefore none the wiser as to who these people are, think Busted but with more vests.
It appeared I had been duped once again by the hyperbolic stylings of another entertainment and listicle driven website article, designed to lure me in with over exaggerated promises of ‘blowing my mind’ or ‘being the best thing I’ll ever see, ever, in the whole entire history of the world‚’ only to be presented with a picture of a cat wearing a scarf - which would still be pretty cool, but, I mean, not exactly the best thing I’ll ever see in the whole entire history of the world. (Though note to editor: Please use a picture of a cat in a scarf as the feature image).
These websites are all competing for hits and a sure-fire way of doing so is to ensure the story goes viral on social media, even if that means telling a few white lies.
‘Amy Schumer eating a peanut will make you reassess your whole entire life!’ will, apparently, draw a larger audience than ‘Woman eats Peanut with little or no repercussions’.
With all these publications screaming for our attention in this way, it loses its impact. Then before we know it, we’ll all start talking like that - which would be the absolute worst thing to happen in the whole world, ever!