STOP Only Reading the First Lines of Blogs

And don’t just read the first line of this blog and think “Oh, okay.”

This is what a sea of bullshit clickbait has done to us. People think they can just read the headline, or the first line, and know the full story- but blogs are more than their opening sentences. Stories are more than their headlines.

We claim to love the back and forth. The uniqueness and eccentricities of life, and people. It’s what makes us, us. It’s what makes people interesting. It’s what keeps us searching and learning- yet so many people are happy with being able to be summed up by a meme, or getting their news from headlines, or passing over an article because it’s “TLDR.”

Case in point: I recently wrote a piece about my boys growing up. I started it with a humorous anecdote about my 8 year old’s newfound body odor. It was one line in a piece of over 800 words. One line that was only intended to bring in readers, while the rest would hopefully relate to how most parents feel when they realize they can’t stop the hands of time. It was a funny blog, but with a moral that hits home for everyone- kids grow up, and we have to let them. They can’t remain children.

But instead of giving the blog a read in its entirety to find that true meaning- someone decided to just read the first line. The preview that shows up with my articles when I post them on Facebook. And that preview just-so-happened to be about body odor. And that resulted in a comment from this person telling me I should bathe my child before bed.

I was mystified, and annoyed. Not only at the nerve of a stranger telling me to bathe my child, but that, of the entire article- that’s what they took away from it. One line. One line that truly had nothing to do with the rest of the piece. And that’s when I realized- I got the headline treatment. This person didn’t even read the blog. They took what they wanted, assumed what it was about, and left a snide comment based on their false assumptions.

Not only was she wrong (my child is more than capable of bathing himself, and his stinkyness is just… being a boy), but she missed out on something that might have meant something to her had she actually clicked and read. Had she looked beyond a headline and a sentence.

I don’t want to go down the route of being preachy about this. As a writer, of course I want you to read the entirety of what I write, but it’s about more than that. It’s about giving life and experiences a chance before assuming. It’s about taking time out of our days to see where someone else is coming from. It’s about caring that we have all of the facts before responding. It’s realizing that not everything can be summed up in a title, or a sentence, or a single photo.

Stop. Read. THEN if you want to be an asshole…. well, you still shouldn’t, but at least you’ll be an informed one.

Posted on January 12, 2018 by Holdin' Holden 2 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  •    Reply

    Oh the joys of raising boys. To quote my Mother. I was old when my son was born(41) and I think that was a good thing. Another aspect of boys is the eloquence they eschew. I had no sympathy about my vocabulary from my siblings, saying it would have to change once he’s born. BZZZZZZZZZZZZ. My response to that was I can only teach him timing, cause he’s going to learn the words anyway. Sure enough, 2nd grade came around and he’s busted for saying the slang for fecal matter. Well we discussed adult words and told him, Until you’re an adult your job is, DON’T LET AN ADULT HEAR YOU. Taught him timing and being aware of his surroundings. 2 Birds with one stone my figuring. Keep up the journey , it maybe rocky and tedious at times but your words are not falling only on deaf ears. Love your anecdotes about being a Mom.

  •    Reply

    I’d rather be an informed asshole than a blind idiot! LOLOL (just showing I read the whole thing, Jenny!) HUGS

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