With all the forms of communication crossing our screens, desktops and devices at lightning speed, sometimes it’s a wonder we can retain any information at all. Our attention span is constantly being challenged and I’m convinced this in turn diminishes our ability to read thoroughly. Just a few days ago, I received a message asking to reschedule a conference call to “two Toronto time tomorrow”.
I quickly responded with a “no problem”. Then I got on the phone at 2:00 EST and was perplexed when the other party wasn’t available at the said time. When we finally connected, it became apparent I had misread the request. I had skipped the “tomorrow” part of the email. Incredulously, I went back to check and sure enough, upon rereading the information, I was proven wrong (so I blamed it on too many T words in one sequence).
Because we’re in the business of marketing and communicating, we know the ten thousand foot view of things is critical to strategy development. But at some point the devil is in the details and skipping words can create a huge mess.
Since my own misstep in scanning vs reading, I have noticed on several occasions, that we are far too often, mistakenly getting sign off on creative projects – to either send them for email distribution, to publish online, or to print. There have been some glaring oversights, and thankfully with our internal protocols, we manage to catch them before it’s too late. But that can’t always be the case.
What’s happening people (myself included)? We need to be more careful, we need to read!
Now here’s a test of your own ability – read the words in the image above and count how many times you see the letter F. Now be honest… what was your first answer? There are six Fs. Most people who see this will count only three. Call it more ‘proof’ in the pudding?