Volume XX, Number 38 (Issue 990) September 19, 2022
Get to the Point
It is with mixed feelings, including ample concern that I am likely to hear the phrase “Pot, meet Kettle,” that I undertake today’s essay. That’s because I know I can be guilty of the specific peevish behavior I am about to describe and decry. Nonetheless, because I was sucked in and waylaid on multiple occasions this past week by the very behavior I am about to assail, I feel compelled to get this off my chest. Specifically, I am talking about the use of misleading headlines (clickbait) designed to grab the reader’s/listener’s attention so that they depart from their current activity and train of thought to read or listen to a story to later discover the message has little to do with the teaser.
Similarly, I get more than a bit frustrated when the story teller takes a ridiculous amount of ink, airtime, and valuable minutes to get to the point. Their method in their madness – or so I would prefer to think – is they are committed to providing context and backstory to the events they are about to describe. But when the storyteller wanders away on tangential trails or drones on in a well-intended effort to provide color as if they were a romance novelist or historian obsessed with the minute details, it produces more irritation than enlightenment. At least for me.
The simple fact is, unless I have nothing better to do with my time – and who among us isn’t pressed for time and struggling with time management – I don’t appreciate having my time wasted. This is not to say I don’t enjoy a delightful story or being supplied with the type of context that leads to better understanding. Instead, it is that I have scant patience for being misled or being forced to suffer the rambling thoughts and opinions of those who think they know what they are talking about when the truth is they know even less than I do. And for the record, I’ll quickly admit the things I don’t know far outweigh and outnumber the few things I do know.
Thus, the next time you are inclined to trick me into reading something, please don’t. Likewise, if you feel compelled to enlighten me with your “facts” though they are mostly your opinions (and uninformed at that), are being paid by the word, or are simply enthralled by the sound of your voice and incredible vocabulary (your way with words), please reconsider. It is possible I have better uses for my time.
Soli Deo Gloria
“The man of few words and settled mind is wise; therefore, even a fool is thought to be wise when he is silent. It pays him to keep his mouth shut.” Proverbs 17:27-28
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