The 24 Hour News Cycle
I have to unplug!
As you can see, I have recently entered the world of blogging...podcasting is on the way. And while no one reads the blog yet, it is a solid form of therapy. Well, it was anyway.
Squarespace is the company that does the hosting for this website. And while it is definitely a little rough, it is a solid website. I’m still learning. Squarespace provides all of the tools necessary to make a really nice looking website with little to no knowledge of programming. They’ve made it all so easy. So, everything this website is not is all on me.
However, one of the things they advised me to do was to was link my blog to a social media account. Now, this is solid advice. One of the questions I had when beginning this little journey was how people would find my lowly blog on the internet. Apparently, utilizing Twitter...among others...is the way to get the word out!
I have carefully kept myself away from social media throughout my adult life. It held little interest for me really. I prefer to be doing things. Making things. Experiencing life. And, honestly, I always viewed social media the same way I viewed fantasy sports and role-playing games back in the day. A lame pastime for those with small lives.
Because I KNOW people with large social media presences! And they’re small, petty, ridiculous people with sad existences. They have, sometimes through no fault of their own, lives that did not go the way they wanted. They aren’t doing the things they wanted to do. They aren’t with the person they want to be with. They aren’t happy with who they have allowed themselves to become. So, they live their best existence online. Admittedly, some people do it in a very positive way. Every read a mommy blog? I have! Wanted to see what it was about. Helpful and funny in a way that is relatable. But, Twitter, on the other hand, is a completely different animal. Twitter, is fucking shitty! People on Twitter are shitty. They say shitty things and do shitty stuff. Twitter is a place where a person can be their most feral.
Kind of like the atomic bomb, Twitter is something we all, at some level, wish we could unmake.
But, I did it; albeit a little reluctantly. I rationalized that knowledge with the idea that I would, most likely, not be blogging about anything that is really important. The idea was to talk about food and computers and other irrelevant horseshit. The idea was to learn about driving traffic to a well-built site and use that knowledge for my small business I will be starting within the year.
However, when it came time to sit down and write my first post I caught myself being unable to think about anything other than the crazy shit going on in our nation’s capital. I was shocked by how left the left is going and how inflexible both sides are when it comes to this fucking border wall. I wrote not one, but two posts that were somewhat politically relevant. And that was my mistake.
In an effort to get my blog out there I began following and tagging some people I felt would attract attention to my corner of the internet. And, honestly, it kind of worked. A website that is not selling anything, giving anything away, or hosting anything has had over 500 views in less than two weeks. Additionally, this blog has 25 subscribers to my RSS feed. For a site with a broken “Contact” link, that is pretty good response.
Oh, and I am working on the Contact page...but I have no idea how to fix it.
The unintended result though has been a fundamental change in MY habits!! And I hate it. I catch myself getting involved in the nastiness on Twitter. Now, I am not negative. I try to be the voice of reason and present well-formed thoughts. But I have caught myself getting into that shit. And it doesn’t stop there! A while back I unplugged. I removed myself from the 24 hour news cycle. I read an article (and I would love to give credit to the author, but I cannot find the article online) about how addictive and soul crushing the 24 hour news cycle is. The author found himself constantly checking the updates on his phone and spending all of his time on FOX, CNN, and assorted news sites.
The author allowed his day to be influenced by the “story as it developed.”
The example he used was the Sandy Hook school shooting. That awful episode in American history. He cited that initially, the news media reported it as a terrorist attack. They even went so far as to give rough descriptions of the alleged assailant. A Muslim man in his 20’s.
The problem with that, as you know, is that they were wrong. The perpetrator of that unspeakable attack was NOT a Muslim at all! But that is the problem with the 24 hour news cycle. AND, it is not the news media’s fault!!
The development of a news story is a very fluid thing. News does not happen in a linear manner. The sources do not have complete or accurate stories. Instead, they piece together a picture from snippets derived from multiple sources over the course of time. But the demand for immediacy by the consumer has put our media outlets in the position of having to run with a story just as soon as it begins to come together...often times to the detriment of a story’s accuracy.
A glaring recent example of this inaccuracy due to limited or unreliable sources is the incident with the Catholic School kids from Kentucky the other night. I’ll get to Twitter in a moment, but the news media got it 100% wrong! They received a snippet of a video that cast those poor school kids in a very negative light, and they did what the news media does. They ran with it. Boy, did they run with it. CNN assembled panels or people condemning the conduct of those kids. They interviewed that horrible leader of the Native American group. You know, that dickface beating the drum in that kid’s face. They fueled a misguided outrage that was already running through Twitter like Grant ran through Richmond! And….they got it wrong.
The rest of the video surfaced, the kids were doing nothing wrong other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time in MAGA hats, and as it turns out, the poor downtrodden indigenous people were the aggressors in that situation!
But, we didn’t know that for a good 6-8 hours after the initial uproar started.
THAT is the issue with the 24 hour news cycle. There is no time to get the damn facts. And it is fucking exhausting. It is emotionally draining.
I do not want to be a part of it any longer. A better way to say that would be “I am going to stop it before it really starts.” So, I am taking steps. I have deleted all of my news apps...again. I have forgotten about FOX, CNN, MSNBC...etc...again.
I took out a subscription to the New York Times. They have a digital version that is available through their app or delivered directly to Kindle devices.
What does this do for me? It gets me the FUCK out of the news cycle. It gives me appointment based news. And it, with a little discipline, will allow me to step away from the insanity and become a real person again.
Now, I’ll not say I will never write about current events again...but I think my next post is going to be something a little more fun.
How We Destroy Lives Today https://nyti.ms/2Hq7wTS