What we see and what we read can be viewed as how cool or in the know we are. Are we using the newest social media gizmo or are we still using myspace? Are we reading People magazine or The Economist? How and what media we consume, can create assumptions about who we are and what we must be like.
This idea of creating an audience is the basis for names like generation X and Y, and the millennial’s. This type categorization was created as a way to assume what each generation was mostly likely to think, behave like and ultimately what they would consume. It’s used to create a subculture that can be sold something based on patterns of behavior.
People generally don’t like to be classified for the purposes of being sold something. Most people would like to be viewed as individual thinkers. Media and marketing agencies understand that so they create a product and through the magic of the online comment section, we now have instant feedback from the audience.
People can participate in the conversation, be critical of the content the writer presents, and for the first time ever, they can be part of the story. All this is happening on a web page that is filled with ads that are slowly being customized to the reader. The content of the article is merely bait, the ads are the hook and you’re the suckerfish.