Oh! Ha. You’re here. It worked.
With flashing headlines and endless tickers across TV screens, and pop-up ads and text messages to distract us from those, it’s no wonder our attention spans are shot. It’s harder to focus.
I used to be an avid reader of books. I still love books. It’s a lot harder to finish a book these days. It’s my fault, I know. Turn it all off and make yourself read, you say. I’ll try. I have a list of books for summer reading. If anyone has a beach house to donate, I read much better at the beach.
It seems I’m not the only one with this problem. Unfortunately, it’s creating an even bigger annoyance.
Last week, on social media (various sources), it was posted that Allison Krauss and Union Station, with Willie Nelson as a special guest, wouldn’t be playing in Augusta for their upcoming show. As someone who wants to see Augusta flourish, this is disappointing. However upon further reading (meaning past the dadgum headline), they had good cause for cancelling. An “unforeseen and urgent health condition” will prevent travel for a few days.
The comments under the article were priceless and oh-so-typical. They ranged from things like “of COURSE they did. Augusta SUCKS,” to “All the good acts cancel. WAY TO GO, Augusta.” Um, excuse me, but did you read the article? They didn’t cancel because of lack of ticket sales. It wasn’t because of the paper mill or meat packing plant smells. They cancelled due to a health issue. How quick we are to judge based on a 10-word headline at the top of the page.
One person went so far as to blame Willie for the cancellation, saying he probably hates Augusta, too.
When I wrote about getting a puppy, I knew there would be folks who asked why we didn’t get an older dog, why we didn’t get a rescue, and if we knew what getting a puppy truly entails. I thought I covered that. I mentioned or sweet and old rescue, Lizzy. I talked about our beloved Sam, who died a few years ago. I also discussed the research we’d done in finding the right place to get our newest family pet. We looked for weeks. It wasn’t spontaneous. We love animals, and we barely paid anything for our little Teddy. As a matter of fact, I know we barely covered the vet bills incurred in having newborn pups in a home. We didn’t pay any more than the re-homing fees charged by rescue groups.
I was asked what would happen when the puppy grew up. He’s cute now, but will we still love him then? I’ve never had a pet I didn’t love. Every last one, from Dick and Virgil the hamsters who practically ate each other to death, to Teddy Roosevelt Wright, the most presidential puppy, has been loved and cared for. If the commenter had actually read the column, they’d know that, because I said it all.
Sometimes, people skim and don’t have the time to thoroughly read articles and such. Totally makes sense. I’m guilty, too. Can we make a deal? Let’s all refrain from commenting on anything unless we’ve really read the words. Sometimes headlines are misleading.
I learned this first-hand after being in a car accident a couple of months ago. The headline said I ran over a police officer. That tugs at the heart strings, doesn’t it? “Mother, distracted by her two young children, mows over deputy.” Interesting, but untrue. The article was corrected later, but the comments continued to stream in about the poor deputy and how inconsiderate drivers are when it comes to motorcycles.
Look, I felt bad for the deputy, too. It was an unfortunate situation. He didn’t start his day planning to wreck his bike. Thank goodness we had only minor property damage.
Maybe this is a two-part problem. Headlines are misleading, and no one’s bothering to read what’s underneath. Are we forever unable to focus long enough to hear the facts?
I’m completely positive this isn’t the most amazing story you’ve ever read. It’s not even in your top 100. I hear ya. Mine, either. I don’t think Augusta sucks, and so many of you agree with me. I wish I’d seen the faces of the haters when they read my title, thinking “yes! It sure does.” It’s probably all Willie’s fault.