As a committed post-modern dinosaur, I have never tweeted, been on
facebook, LinkdedIn, reddit, or any other social media site. There are no
apps, devices or any other means of “syncing” an information flow in my
world. My laptop is the whole ball of wax, device-wise. I know not of
interacting online with groups of people. I just don’t get it. But, clearly,
time has passed me by and I am officially irrelevant.
Twitter wars and their prominence among “news” stories in the media seem
mystifying. Reading or watching stories about this phenomenon also seem
pretty funny. All these characters with their thumbs flying, being egged on
by “news” reports, conjure up an image of a bunch of weenies engaging in
what amounts to electronic slap fights. Hunched over their tiny devices, do
those engaging in the exercise actually believe it is the equivalent of some
sort of gladiatorial warfare? I think they do.
Forget it folks, you’re not Russell Crowe, you’re Arnold Stang.
Tip: your busy thumbs are not the full extent of your physical
capabilities. You can get up and walk, talk to live humans in person, see
“real” things with your “real” eyes, feel the sun and wind, experience “real”
life firsthand. Yeah, it’s kind of uncomfortable, but, probably good for ya.
See, if you’re confining yourself to virtual reality, your non-virtual
musculature and body parts are withering from lack of use and exercise. Your
overly active imaginations, seeing yourselves as some sort of latter day
cultural warriors are a bit over the top. Okay, delusional. There is such a
thing as “real” reality y’know.
It all seems hilarious to me, but with a looming downside which is apt to
wind up affecting all of us, including the ones who don’t tweet or who have
thoughts which won’t fit into 140 characters. People seem overly focused
on what’s being said on Twitter. The lazy media, too slack to actually go
out and find real news to report–well except for Richard Engel, Ben Weideman, Ivan Watson, et. al.–can just open up their devices, have a donut
peck out a thin story about what other people are doing in 140 characters,
and think they’ve reported the news.
I actually saw one of the former Fox News blondes, in full raccoon-eye
makeup, say recently, with the most earnest look, that “When the President
tweets, we have to report on it.” No. You don’t. “News” is not confined to
what comes out of Donald Trump’s thumbs or mouth. Stuff is
happening–important stuff–out in the “real” world. If you work for a news
media organization, you and your colleagues are supposed to be telling the
rest of us about it.
And the putative “news” cable channels are ridiculous. MSNBC runs
non-stop Lock-up programs on the weekends, presumably because “real”
news doesn’t actually happen on weekends. CNN similarly doesn’t do
much live reporting on the weekends. Possibly it’s because the “reporters”
don’t work weekends. But if you want your media company to be considered a
news organization, then you actually have to report real “news”. Trust me,
there’s lots going on in the real world on weekends, despite what cable
news channel programmers think.
MSNBC also hired a guy, Brian Williams, who was fired for lying, to do an alleged news show. Why? Somehow his presence on the roster is supposed to increase the network’s credibility as a news network! How does that work?
Has Mr. Williams dropped his habit of lying? Sorry, I’m not buying it.
CNN has a morning “news” anchor who’s just a Fox News re-tread yakking
it up five mornings a week. Sorry, I’m not interested in FoxNews’ sloppy
seconds. Don’t hire a media whore and trot her out as a serious journalist,
and expect me to forget what she did before.
The ancillary world of internet trolls is similarly mystifying. Aren’t they
just what we used to call busybodies? Perhaps we should more accurately refer to them as E-busybodies instead of trolls.
The whole notion of spending hours just looking for something to be pissed
off about seems pretty unhealthy. Long ago I decided, when being overly
critical of others, that I’ll try to hold off on that until I’ve perfected me.
There’s a ton of work to be done there, so I’m not holding my breath about
when I can get back to telling everyone else how they should live their lives
and what choices they should make.
Meanwhile, I see that our president is meeting with Vlad Putin this Friday.
What has Vlad been tweeting about lately? I’m all agog with curiosity.
I’m also wondering what future archaelogists will make of the skeleton remains of all the tweeters out there. “There seems to have been a popular cult which flourished tens of thousands of years ago which focused on those with very large thumbs. Perhaps that characteristic was considered as beauty. At this point, we just don’t know but all indications are that genetic thumb mutations became a socially desirable physical attribute at some point in the past. That culture disappeared and we can only conjecture what might have happened to wipe it out.”