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The facts of life

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There’s a lot of misconception bred by modern forms of communication. Most of the time, facts seem to dissipate as a story travels mouth by mouth, ear to ear, news outlet to news outlet, one social media app to another.

These days our society seems to be a lot like the classic Telephone game we played in Girl Scouts as children, with stories ever-changing as they are told.

Yet it seems like the world needs a reminder on the lesson of the game...

For those who are unfamiliar, the game is simple. A group of people sit in a circle and each player relays a phrase, one by one, to the person next to them. The final player then recites the phrase aloud to be judged by the first player who started the game. Almost always, the phrase seems to change by the end of the game.

Once a story has been told time and time again, it often evolves because people don’t listen to understand, they listen to respond. Without being attentive, one can’t accurately pass the phrase on to the next player.

Just like the game, misconceptions due to improper communication happen every day whether it be on Facebook, in the workplace, at home or sometimes even within a family unit.

We shouldn’t believe everything we hear without confirming what the facts of the story are. If we all took a moment to question the things we hear and research the facts, many misunderstandings and oftentimes, hurt feelings, could be avoided.

We learn simple skills such as patience, how to take turns and how to listen to one another at the earliest formation of our social skills. However, every once in a while we all tend to lack these common courtesies as we go through life.

Our day-to-day communications can twist and morph into stories that veer far from the facts of the initial story. Intended or not, no matter what the situation may be, it roots back to the lessons taught in the game of Telephone – how information is relayed and received matters.

We could all do a little bit better at listening to understand and truly hearing one another.

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