Monday, April 20, 2015

Culture Corner 4.20.15



On April 18, 1930, there was no news. BBC announced they had nothing to say and just played piano music. Can you imagine if that happened today? If the New York Times just said, "You know, nothing really interesting happened today, here's some sweet tunes." People would probably be frantically tweeting the news that there was no news, blogging those tweets on Tumblr, and posting the blogs of the tweets on Reddit.

I'm not making any brilliant new observation when I say people are addicted to constant stimulation. I can't get through writing a blog post without refreshing Buzzfeed a minimum of 17 times. Even though I sometimes fall into the trap of needing constant and instantaneous gratification in the form of listicles, quizzes and funny gifs, and even though I'm a journalism major and I guess ought to have my finger on the beating pulse of the 24-hour news circuit, I kind of hate it.

Information is a good thing, but an unceasing flow of limitless information in the form of news and status updates and emails is just too much, and I can't understand why people want it. It reminds me of this thing I saw:


It's not that people were never antisocial before handheld technology, or that that people are less social now. It's that the paper can be finished and put away and no one has to think about news until the evening edition. Who wants to know everything that happens exactly when it happens? I can't even answer a text message right away, which is apparently a no-no in our plugged in society.

Please. Don't. 
Because you know what's the inevitable result of the 24-hour news cycle? Clickbait stories about Kim Kardashian. And worse, the comments at the bottom from people who are much too intelligent and important to read about Kim Kardashian but have enough time to stick their two-cents in. Better off to just cancel the news day and play some music. Hell, cancel the whole day; I think we could use some time with ourselves.


-Elizabeth

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