Hooks: How They Work

August 21, 2010 |  by

Hooks are the bait that memes use to catch us.

Hooks come in a million sizes, shapes and disguises – but what they all share is this: they offer us something we want. Say we want (at some level) to be liked or accepted, or want to succeed, want to be safe, to be spiritual or to be powerful. Different memes offer us all those things. That’s not so bad, on its own. But we pay a price.

The price we pay is ourselves. If we join the meme of a social group (it doesn’t have to be conscious and usually isn’t), we may get the friendships we want, but by acting from the meme, we’ve sacrificed (paid) the true expression of who we are. Is that a trade we want to make?

Ironically, a better way to get what we want is just by being ourselves.

And – usually – we can still keep the friends.

p.s. If a meme offers me something I don’t want (ex. I have plenty of friends already), then I won’t go for the hook. I’m immune to the meme, so to speak. This answers the last post’s question: Why are some people hooked – and others not?


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