The way we're always in a race to be the first to know something and tell others, you'd think there was prize money involved. Or maybe a new car.
We like to be the first ones to announce breaking news a business opening or closing, a house in the neighborhood up for sale, a celebrity that died, someone is engaged, got a new car or a new wife. We're like remote broadcasters without the good hair, microphones and earpieces.
Sometimes in the mad race to be first, even professionals get it wrong. CBSnews.com erroneously reported that Steve Jobs had died when he was very much alive. They issued an apology and a retraction, but the news had already spread through Twitter like a Texas wildfire.
It's a difficult thing to retract incorrect information. Once people hear or read something, they tend to believe it is true.
A woman once asked where I lived. I told her Indianapolis and she said, no, that I lived in such and such a town because that was what she had read somewhere online. Well, then, I guess that makes it true. I was looking forward to my new home, but never found it.
One of the grocery tabloids is the first to announce that Kate and William are expecting. Twins, no less. I wonder if Kate and William know. It's really something when a tabloid knows about your pregnancy (and sees the ultrasound) before you do. The tabloid says it's a girl and a boy in case you wondered.
Does it really make a difference if I'm the first to know? Does it really add IQ points if I'm the first to know which Hollywood star is now tipping the scales at 200 and has displayed cellulite at the beach?
I'm usually up before the husband and have often read headlines online before he opens the paper. When he starts reading a headline out loud, I let him get halfway through and then tell him the rest of the story. It's a sickness really. Why can't I let him think he's breaking the news first?
Being first makes us feel important. It's an easy win like taking first in a race without ever having to actually run or break a sweat.
An entire class of people likes to be the first to own each new electronic gizmo that comes down the pike. Apple stores are packed with thousands of people waiting in line to be the first. It's a temptation to say, "You know you're not going to be the first to own this, you're probably number 4,578."
A new Container Store is opening nearby and having a grand opening. One of my daughters is quite excited and asked if I wanted to be one of the first to go. I said no thanks because I already know what they have containers. We tend to be selective in the things we want to be first in.
I don't mind letting others go first to find out if a restaurant, book, movie or store is any good, then decide if I want to go. If it turns out to be bad, I saved both time and money.
So go ahead, you go first. I'm right behind you.