There are many current trends. Vampires being sexy instead of scary. Zombies. Immediately, the election. Internet cat videos. You get the idea. Some I find more irritating than others, my Facebook home page has become the equivalent of a neighborhood full of political banner ads cascading across mildly unkempt lawns; meanwhile all the homeowners are on their front porch screaming at one another across the street because their side’s “Got it right.” It’s become ridiculous.
The Arab spring showed the world what a wonderful part of a revolution social media has to play, but during this election season I can’t help but feel like instead of encouraging a fruitful national conversation all it’s done entrenched us further into the cyclical thinking that brought us here. But that’s enough about that. This is all my personal feeling and I don’t have much in the way of backing it up. I’ll leave this conversation to others who believe they’re smarter than the rest of us.
What I wish to discuss – and ultimately complain about – is a current trend in the media. That miserable trend is reporters/journalists/talking heads/newscaster reading comments from regular folk on twitter or an outlet’s Facebook page. We are all entitled to our opinion and in this country we are all free to express ourselves. Social Media gives us the ability to broadcast ourselves out there to the world, to try and be heard. It’s kind of noble when you think about it.
Here’s the thing. When you, as a user, are on these social media sites you have the option to ignore the noise. When I’m watching the morning news and I’m too blurry eyed to find the remote I can’t change the channel when the news person starts reading random comments from @PalsyStud52 about last night’s debate. Whatever @PalsyStud52 has to say is no less valuable than my humble opinions, but is it really worth the time it takes to read it out loud? @PalsyStud52’s idea were sent out to the people who wished to follow his snide comments about his buddy’s delts, but do the rest of us need to subjected to it?
This brings me to another waste of my time; and that is the “caption this” segment of my morning news. While I think it’s a cute idea online – in the interest of full disclosure I have contributed to my fair share of these on FB – there is no place for it one THE NEWS. I find few things more grating than listening to a newscaster read the limp attempts at humor Frank T. from Whitehall wrote – while fondling himself online before his wife and kids get up for the day – in regards to a cat photo submitted from Claudia-Joy of Catonsville.
There is famine, elections, revolutions, espionage, stories of hope, charity, and the like going on all the time, but instead of reporting actual news we are subjected to a classical reading of @PoeSlut’s musings on the Occupy Movement.
Now, one could argue that I could just change the channel and move on, but they all do it. Every last one of them. So what’s my alternative? Re-runs of Golden Girls? Sure, but then I have NO idea what’s happening out in the world – which, studies have shown, is the equivalent to watching purely Fox News. I also don’t understand who they are doing this for? Is it to capture the younger viewers? I can guarantee that no one younger than myself gives a f*** about your local morning show. Is it for the older folks? To make them feel more in touch? I don’t think so; they think Twitbook and Face-itter are the devil – and they may not be wrong. So who does that leave? My generation? If that’s the case when we want social media we’ll get it, on our phone, mac, pc, or tablet… NOT from the GD television.
My apologies. In reality, it’s probably an attempt to stay relevant in an age when most of us get our news from a feed on our phones – I had no idea about the killing of Bin Laden until I checked my fb feed the night it happened. So I get it local news, you’re feeling out of touch, you want to make it sexy again, make people tune in. Well I have my station and I like it better than all the others, I like the people. It would be a wonderful way to start my day if I didn’t have to hear what @BuckSniper420 of Jarretsville thought about the gay marriage bill. Do the news: Report it and they will come.
So … in closing… go vote tomorrow.