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Opinion: On the search for the purple elephant

We need to pay attention to the whole story.
When we don't pay attention, are we really getting all the information?

Lately I have noticed there seems to be a lack of concentration in the world today. With technology being as advanced as it is now, we can know just about anything with a flick of a finger. People seemed to have lost the art of paying attention.

I have noticed that by not paying attention, much of the important information is lost in the shuffle. With reading, information can be lost. If an article doesn’t grab your attention right away, what are the chances you will continue with it? We scan for the information we are seeking but do not continue to see if what we just read has changed. When we scan the page, we often take those little tidbits of info and start forming our own creative stories of what we just took in. This results in misinformation and rumours start from there.

This is also seen when having conversations. One person can be chatting while the other is scrolling through their phone or looking at someone else. I have had that happen while having lunch with someone. They will be on their phone while I sit in silence waiting for them to put it down and have a visit. Now I am also going to be the one to admit that I have also done this. We are human and we all have that need to be able to reach for our devices to stay in contact with someone or something that is not in front of us.

Often it happens right in my own home with my three children. I tend to pause whatever it is I am doing to focus on what my child has to say. Yet with two other children on their devices, the distraction from them usually makes it difficult to pay close attention to what the first kid has to say. Also, with having three kids with busy schedules, information often gets lost in my head. Thank goodness I have my phone with all the calendars.

Now you are probably wondering why this is called “On the search for the purple elephant.” How many of you just scanned through the whole article looking for the words “purple elephant” just so you could see what this was all about? Scanning the article, shows how we as humans have evolved when it comes to our communication. I would suggest those who scanned the piece go back to the beginning and read it again, word for word. Although there is no purple elephant in this article, you may still learn something.

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