Why You Need to Quit Tweeting and Pay Attention

Why You Need to Quit Tweeting and Pay AttentionLately, you've got to wonder if anyone has the time or inclination to think past the sound-bite, what with all the communication and social media overload we're all dealing with on a daily basis.

I mean, why bother understanding the facts or doing a little analysis before making an important decision when there are so many tweets, emails, and texts to read and write? Really.

Look, here's the problem with the ADD culture we live in. If all you're going to do is read the sound-bites from all sorts of crazy sources - yeah, I know, it's on the Internet so it must be true - then you're pretty much guaranteed to see every possible viewpoint ... from the reasonably legitimate to the utterly ridiculous and everything in between.

So what's wrong with that? Plenty.

If you give in to distraction and listen to even a fraction of the BS, instead of paying attention to what really matters, you might end up 1) blowing up your career and maybe your marriage like Congressman Anthony Weiner, 2) believing that jobs are coming back when they're not, or 3) walking around with your head covered in aluminum foil to avoid harmless cell phone radiation.

Three Things You Should Know and Would Know If You Were Paying Attention
About Weinergate. It's not as if politicians, executives, and everyone else haven't been cheating (virtually or otherwise), flirting, grabbing, flashing, sexually harassing, whatever, for as long as there've been male sex organs and hormones that make them do funny things.

It's just that, now, there's an electronic trail, i.e. your indiscretions are all in the cloud, documented for anyone with the capability and inclination to get at it.

Look, it's called social media. The rules have changed. Get with the program, clean up your act, or get caught and get fired. It's your call.

About cell phone radiation. Read my lips: the risks are negligible. The recent World Health Organization report that has everyone and his brother freaking out increases the risk from zero to Possibly Harmful to Humans, AKA Group 2B. Know what else is in Group 2B? Coffee and talcum powder. Want to know what else is possibly harmful to humans? Walking in front of a car or falling off a curb and breaking your neck while texting on your cell phone.

Eat right, eat less, get some exercise, reduce your stress, don't fly in airplanes or eat barbecued food, drive slower and more defensively - those are all far higher risks than getting brain cancer from your cell phone.

Did anyone bother to actually read the report and look into the fact that there was no new research behind it before blasting attention-getting headlines all over the internet and blogosphere?

You know, this is the kind of stuff that has parents not vaccinating their kids, enabling the reintroduction of horrible, previously eradicated diseases like Whooping Cough. And all because of some miniscule risk that may or may not exist or some report that turns out to be a fraud except everyone bought it hook line and sinker because a Hollywood actor said it was true. Sheesh.

About the U.S. economy and jobs picture. Back in December I told you that the U.S. jobs picture wouldn't improve in 2011, based on a survey by the Association for Financial Professionals that concluded there would only be a net gain of about a million U.S. jobs in 2011. That's peanuts, by the way, compared with the number of jobs we've lost.

In case there's any doubt about the credibility of that report, it's from a survey of the nation's CFOs. You know, the people who actually know how much hiring they're planning to do in the coming year because it's in their annual planning budget? In other words, it isn't just information you can take the bank. That information is the bank.

And yet, I keep seeing these hopeful articles with optimistic titles like "Are jobs coming back?" primarily because of all sorts of misinformation, like what's coming out of the White House lately. For example, Obama administration economic advisor Austan Goolsbee said this about last Friday's dismal jobs report, "We have improved a long way from when the economy was in rescue mode."

Umm ... no, we haven't. And, while writing this post, it was reported that Goolsbee resigned. Wonder why.

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