act now

Sometimes people use words to make things sound more urgent than they are.

If someone nearby tells you to “act now” and nothing in your immediate area is on fire, you might want to have some follow-up questions ready. If someone on TV or the internet tells you to act now — lest you miss out on some exciting offer or other — you should definitely put it out of your mind for at least 72 hours before making a decision.

A request to “act now” should give you pause, and not just because the people who say it don’t always have your best interests at heart.

The other reason to be suspicious is that in a real emergency, no one will ever say “act now” to get you to do something about it. You might hear DUCK or RUN or PUSH THE BUTTON or DO NOT PRESS THE BUTTON, but no one is going to tell you to act now. There isn’t time. So calm down, ask a few questions, and be glad you’re not on fire.