Monday, April 7, 2014

People Don't Read: NPR Joke

People Don't Read: NPR Joke

This is not only classic, but it's also true and I can back it up with personal experience as a blogger. NPR played an April fool's joke on facebook by posting a status update, "Why Doesn't America Read Anymore?" And then they posted a link to an article. Of course the same thing that happens on social media all the time happened that time. If anyone had bothered to read the link first before commenting they would have seen this:
Congratulations, genuine readers, and happy April Fools’ Day!
We sometimes get the sense that some people are commenting on NPR stories that they haven’t actually read. If you are reading this, please like this post and do not comment on it. Then let’s see what people have to say about this “story.”
Best wishes and have an enjoyable day,
Your friends at NPR
But what happened is hoards jumped onto the comment thread without clicking the link or bothering to read what NPR was talking about with the same typical rants you see on most comment threads.

You can read more here. There are some very entertaining screen shots of FB comments clearly left by people who didn't read the link...which is like commenting on the weather outside from a room that has no windows. Not a clue.

I can tell you personally that I share posts daily on several different social media platforms and the same thing happens to me. I'll take an excerpt from a post, and then share it with the link, naturally assuming people will take the time to read the link before commenting. But I've learned that most people only bother to read the excerpt I posted and if I don't make sure the excerpt I post is generic, I will get all kinds of misinterpreted comments that have absolutely nothing at all to do with the actual post to which I linked. I sometimes even state: "Please read post before commenting." I do that to avoid having to deal with comments that might be taken out of context and to keep people from looking foolish. And sometimes that doesn't even work. They comment without reading anyway and the comments make no sense with respect to the post.

The fact is that people don't read everything thoroughly, and that's fine. We all do it. But the most disturbing thing is that some are so angry and so willing to comment with an opinion/rant they don't even take into consideration they might be commenting on something altogether different because they didn't read the link in full. It's as sad as it is amusing.

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