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Want to know how to never be tricked or taken advantage of?

Try this one amazing trick...

By ARCPublished 26 days ago Updated 26 days ago 6 min read
Want to know how to never be tricked or taken advantage of?
Photo by Hugh Han on Unsplash

You'll never guess what it is!



The one, surefire, never-miss, secret weapon way to make sure that you are never, ever taken advantage of by anyone, anywhere, about anything is:




Grow your attention span!




How many readers have clicked away by now?




Did the urge hit you?




For real though. That actually is the secret key. If all you were here for was the key, now you have it. Like most keys, though, its usefulness somewhat hinges upon also knowing what door it unlocks.

I get that the opening style was tongue-in-cheek with the click-baity approach and whatnot (bonus points for you if you spotted that the click-baity approach was metappropriate to the issue at-hand)... but this is actually a legitimately big (and serious) illness in our society today.

It is?

I imagine many Vocalists are at least aware that this is an issue. It's probably not too much of a stretch to hypothesize that writers on Vocal may even be people who are often the victims of others' (even shorter) short attention spans.

TFW: Your [family member's or friend's] eyes glaze over when your description of some mindblowingly-amazing thing you experienced recently exceeds 162 characters....

Though, we've probably all been there, right? As perpetrators of this vice, as well?*

(*I am not calling ADD, ADHD, etc. a vice. The kind of short attention span I am speaking of is one that is cultivated by 'nurture', not 'nature'. Please keep reading if you would like to know more.)

Can we agree as a group on one thing then? (I'm including myself in this exercise, btw...)

Just because we can think of 1 (or 2,000) people who have shorter attention spans than ourselves... this doesn't mean we have no improvement to make in this area.

Can we agree on ^that? (If that's a dealbreaker for you, no harm done. Thanks for stopping by.)

If that sounds like a reasonable deal to you, I hope you find some of this perspective valuable. (And would love to know your thoughts to that end, in the comments, if you feel inspired.)

Why is this a serious issue for society?

Our world today is mind-bogglingly interconnected and complex. Systems of systems of systems, all operating on top of one another.

Every single topic of discussion is connected to a vast number of other things.

How can we expect to find any true solutions if we do not have the attention span to fully understand the problems?

Furthermore - and this is the part that pertains to the individuals (who make up society) - how will we ever benefit from a diverse range of perspectives if only a few people are able to 'stick around' long enough to have these intricate, complex conversations?

The first illusion here is that our world's problems are simple, and that they can be solved with one magic 'right answer'... if we could just find what that is.

Our media are experts at trying to create 'binary situations'. Situations where one side of the argument is 'right' and the other side is 'wrong.'

The second illusion here is that any argument only has two sides.

There are countless variables to consider on any given topic. Just trying to claim that there are 'two sides' (i.e. Liberal or Conservative) to an issue is already a gargantuan oversimplification.

Then (as if ^that wasn't enough), we'll now try to determine which side is completely right and which side is completely wrong.

The third illusion here is that anything in this Universe is all one thing. Either all 'good' or all 'bad'. All 'right' or all 'wrong'.

Every point of view is right in some ways.

Every point of view is wrong in some ways.

Let ^this land for a moment. Sit with it a second. Understand that the above bolded truth applies to literally *every single opinion we have ever uttered.*

In some ways (and contexts), our opinion was right on the money.

In some ways (and contexts), our opinion was utter horseshit.

Own it. It's ok. Liberation lives here, in the form of peace and acceptance. We're able to climb off our high-horse of righteousness (the quarter we put in the machine ran out a while ago anyway) and just be a person. Flawed and lovely. Sexy and stupid. Perfect and imperfect. Yay, Paradox!

And speaking of Paradox...

More than one thing can be true at a time. More than three things can be true at a time.

^This is another quality that makes these conversations take longer. *Lots of perspectives can be right at once.*

So, in these instances, the question is no longer: "Which of these ideas do we implement?"

The question becomes: "How do we implement all of these valid and necessary ideas? In what order? To what degree? And how will we measure which ones are working?"

^See how complex that just got? See how laughable it would be if someone came up to you, claiming they had 'the answer' to that question? (Hitchhiker's Guide, anyone?) The talking heads on the media pretend to do this EVERY DAY, THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

Do we see, then, how there is no such thing as a short conversation (162 characters or less!) when it comes to the topics of our world (and lives) that really matter?

Do we see how, any time we see a news headline or short video that 'summarizes' a huge issue (like GMOs, a certain shot for a certain recent global illness, gun laws and school violence, etc.)... do we see how those headlines/videos by nature are incomplete (at best) and misleading (at worst)?

Do we see how anyone that claims to have 'the answer' to any major life topic is actually only in possession of one small piece of the answer? (Because, in actuality, 'the answer' is going to be different, depending on 'the context' in which it is being applied. Like the key and the door mentioned earlier. The 'key' is useless if it's put in the wrong 'door'.)

Do we see how the only way we can safeguard ourselves from being taken advantage of, tricked, or misinformed is by arming ourselves with an attention span long enough to be able to listen to the entirety of the issue? (Then, once we have listened, we can ask appropriate questions to verify the sturdiness of the prevailing point of view. If questions rattle or irritate the other person we are speaking with about this topic, there's a good bet they may just be blowing hot air... or repeating something they sorta memorized but don't actually understand.)

Only with a long attention span can we do the research necessary to begin to understand the complexities of the issues of our world. (We'll know we're on the right track when we get really discouraged. On that day, we realize: I will never have all the information about anything. That is a good day, the day that realization hits us in the chest. This is the day we admit we do not know. On this day, we can finally begin to truly learn.)

And only once we have begun to understand the complexities of the issues of our world... only then can we begin to tune in / think deeply enough to create some real solutions.

(Sidenote: ^This is what insight is... the ability to 'read between the lines' of a number of different perspectives on an issue, then apply independent reasoning based on all you have learned. From there, you come to a conclusion that may not have been written down in any of the research you read or viewed. Your conclusion is an amalgam of all of it.)

What are some things we can do to improve/lengthen our attention span?

Would you all appreciate an article on ^that? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you enjoyed it, please leave a heart, and I'm always grateful for any feedback in the comments.

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About the Creator


Poems, articles & stories 📓

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Friends call me Tony. 🌊

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Comments (13)

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  • Alexander McEvoya day ago

    I find that reading is beneficial to improving my attention span. I also leave my phone behind when I go on quick walks to get my steps in and sit quietly and force myself to do nothing for a set period (easier when out in nature). Also reading the whole sign in museums, I learn more and it forces me to focus more and be slower.

  • RAJ VEER3 days ago


  • Samrah nadeem7 days ago

  • Samrah nadeem7 days ago

    Nice story

  • Malik Aqibislam10 days ago

    This is the absolute BEST! What an incredible idea! I love how creative you got within each of the communities. There are sooo many fantastic stories in here. I admire your dedication, Loryne! Seriously, this was superb. Thank you so much for writing and sharing these. Amazing work. 💓

  • I'm guilty as charged 😅 I have ADD but I'm working on it. You made a lot of valid points here. Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Heather Lunsford25 days ago

    You make very good points about what is a serious issue. Makes me think of the old expression "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" in much the same way you can put a device capable of showing you the entirety of human knowledge and research on any topic and they are likely to use it to make 45 second tick tock videos.

  • Samya Mohammed25 days ago Would love some reviews please support me anyone ?? 🥺❤️🙏

  • Loryne Andawey26 days ago

    There is a discipline to expanding our awareness and that is honed by reading really difficult work. At the same time, lots of difficult reading is written in a way that hides information behind unecessay jargon (think financial statements and peer reviewed articles). Thank you for this 👍

  • Dana Crandell26 days ago

    Thanks for this one, Tony. It correlates well with a point I touched on in my last story. Thanks also for the Hitchhiker's Guide reference. A true classic, that. I miss conversation. I miss intelligent discussions. I have to agree with LC's comment, too: It's up to us as writers to engage. I think, though, that your piece is directed more at how (or if) we process all of the input we receive. If we put those two together and learn to actually communicate? Have the hard conversations? Imagine the possibilities. Congratulations on the Top Story!

  • Kristen Balyeat26 days ago

    Congrats on top story, Tony! SO well deserved for this one! Ok, here we go, I’m taking a page from your book and replying in true Tony fashion…

  • Judey Kalchik 26 days ago

    This reminded me of a leadership training where two people had to identify the letter on their card. It was important to come to an agreement. Do you know this story?

  • L.C. Schäfer26 days ago

    Hmmm. OK. Yes, a lot of people do seem to have the attention span of a gnat. The fast-paced nature of society (ding new notification, little red dot, shiny thing, ding, ding) even cultivates this. BUT... on the flip side... it's your job, as a writer, to keep me, the reader, engaged. If I tapped out halfway down the page, is that on me, or on you? 😉🤔🧐

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