Most of the time, I try to resist using typographical errors as
reasons to question someone’s credibility. Maybe that’s because I make
so many errors myself. (Editor’s Note: No kidding) However, the one
shown in this comic is pretty bad. The Hobarken Herald really doesn’t look very trustworthy. The last panel reminds me of an old Buzzfeed article
(back before they were a serious journalistic institution). The article
shows some headlines that would make any reader unsubscribe
immediately. Generally though, I have the idealistic notion that I
should engage with something written based solely on its ideas. Unlike
in romance, I don’t want to judge something too harshly just by a brief
or superficial impression.
However, this doesn’t work often, because we live in a fast-paced
world. How fast? As an ex-coworker used to say to everyone in my office,
dildos can be delivered from Amazon on the same or the next day. When
he brought this up, it made everyone really uncomfortable. In fact, I’m
uncomfortable now just thinking about it. I just…I just don’t know.
Regardless, we need to make decisions quickly. We’re constantly
evaluating things—choosing ketchup or mustard, Republican or Democrat,
marriage or suicide. And there are so many choices that not making a
snap decision can be paralyzing.
We don’t have time to look at what someone is actually saying. The
high velocity of the world dictates that we must judge a book by its
cover—which makes me wonder why so many books look like Twilight.
Anyway, these snap judgments are the reason so many angry respondents
on Twitter are just reacting to headlines. They don’t have time to
actually look at the article. Sadly, sometimes it quickly comes out when
the person rages about some detail that is clarified within the actual
text of the article! It turned out that when Ike slammed Virginia, they
were talking about hurricane and not actual people. Oops.
This is where it becomes a vicious cycle. Because we evaluate
everything so quickly, we know that discerning gaze (Not to be confused
with “The Discerning Gays” now on the LOGO network) will turn on us. So,
we become experts at saying something quickly that seems smart—the hot
take or the talking points—so we can appear to be credible.
So, let’s not only give something we’ve written off a second chance,
let’s also question the credibility of something we’ve bought into a bit
more. Sound good? I knew I could convince you in 500 words or less.
Trivia: Joe is often a victim of decision paralysis. When it came to failing personally or professionally, he couldn’t choose just one!