If you’ve been a follower of this site, you’ll see that the title of the articles over the past two weeks have been changed. The previous two articles were titled, “The Two Issues in Education Which No One Talks About.” Now you’ll see that there are three. Why? There are at least three elements in any system.
Two issues prove that there are always “two sides” to every issue, which cause polarity. If you don’t believe that, you haven’t been seeing commentary regarding our nation’s current leadership and the decisions being made and considered which will affect the quality of life we’ll experience in this nation. There is always a need for “three” to provide stability – and not just an “also ran” or “radical” third choice, but a rational and substantial one. It’s this need for three that has cause some sources to say there are “three sides” to every issue, since the truth lies somewhere in the middle of the extremes.
Once there are three defined elements in a system, they create an emergent principle, which is possibly the fourth element of the complete system, since any complete system has at least five elements. For now, however, the third element has been identified – people don’t read.
You might have experienced this when you begin reading an article that goes on…and on…and on…and you finally get to a point where you say, “I don’t have time for this.” It’s also been said that most American adults that do read one book per year, and the majority of those only get through the first chapter. Why? It takes discipline and time to read. And that’s something that more and more people just don’t have.
This lack of time brought about a change in the publishing industry. Newspapers prided themselves on the research reporters perform to bring clarity and understanding of the issues they covered to create an informed reader. As the need for more advertising space became necessary to cover costs, headline editors were hired. It was their job to create a catchy “hook” so the reader’s attention could be captured in just a few words. As time progressed, and cable broadcasting began to emerge, entire news services sprung up from the headline phenomenon. The news offered on CNN (Cable New Network) was billed as CNN Headline News. As the staff was built, and more reporters were added who could provide more coverage depth, “Headline News” was spun off into a network of its own – HLN (Headline News).
Where are the newspapers today? Disappearing. Which means more and more people are getting their news from broadcast and online media. It’s what they see and hear…and not necessarily what they read and understand.
Recently, a number of staff members at schools received a document requesting them to renew a service they utilized. They did. A few months later, they received the same type of announcement requesting them to renew another service from the same company. The branding, therefore, looked to be the same – same logo, same font, same header color, same font in which the questions were printed. What was different pertained to the words in the right corner of the document.
Many of those folks took a look at the document, said, “I did this already,” and deleted it as a piece of unnecessary email. After followup, however, these staff members commented that they thought they had already done what they needed to do because the documents looked the same. Whereas the intent was a marketing one, to reinforce brand identity, it caused issues regarding the processes in place at the school.
One of the reasons given for this lack of reading today is the abundance of email one receives. It’s commonplace for business leaders to receive 100 or more emails per day, and keeping up with them requires a time commitment. Decisions regarding whether to open, delay opening or delete an email without opening it are made when a user is looking at his or her inbox. Since emails may be deleted without them being open, senders may be able to see that’s happened, and send additional follow-up emails, making the number of emails the person receives increase….sometimes exponentially.
Realizing this, there may be two forces at work here – people don’t read…and people don’t have time to read. Is this news? It was realized about 9 years ago in 2008 by a man named Steve Jobs. But perhaps you read that in the image that accompanied this article. If you did, congratulations! You read! Thanks so much for reading all the way through this article too!