Invasion of Five Things About Media and Technology Right Now

(Part 9 in the continuing series I name after classic monster movies for some reason. Here’s part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, and part 8.)

1. Everything is “BREAKING NEWS” on the cable news channels now. And if it’s not labeled that way, they’ll label it “DEVELOPING NEWS” or “UPDATE” or “WE’RE CONTINUING TO FOLLOW….” One of the channels even uses “BREAKING TONIGHT,” which works as both a con to make you think the news you’re about to see is new without actually lying to you. “Hey, we didn’t say it was ‘breaking,’ we said it was breaking tonight!” The networks keep the “BREAKING NEWS” and “LIVE” on the screen all the time, even if what you’re watching isn’t breaking or even live (even during taped segments the channels will often keep “live” in the corner). I wonder if viewers know they’re being manipulated in subtle ways?

When everything is “BREAKING NEWS,” nothing is.

2. It’s the same on social media, in a way. Every single tweet you get is like a little breaking news update, whether it’s news about a mass shooting or a recipe for brownies. I was scanning Twitter the other night (I know, I know) during the horrible events in Dallas and realized I had to get off because all of the news, all of the rumors, the links, the videos, the opinions, the hot takes, the replies, the retweets…it’s all just too much. It’s exhausting mentally and even exhausting physically. Somehow, the more information we take in the less clear things are.

As I’ve said before, I’m not sure humans were made to experience things at the speed of social media.

3. I was watching All The President’s Men on TCM the other night. I wonder if today a reporter would take a selfie with Deep Throat in the garage and post it on social media? The hashtag would be #followthemoney.

4. “We don’t want to speculate…” – people who speculate.

5. Sometimes I’ll be channel surfing, and without warning I’ll find myself caught up in a House Hunters marathon for three hours and I don’t know how it happened.

3 thoughts on “Invasion of Five Things About Media and Technology Right Now

  1. It’s all designed to keep you in front of that TV no matter what. This day and time is all about gimmicks of one kind or another. The more technology we have now, the more tragically messed up everything gets; with this week’s events unfortunately being just the most recent examples.

    All the more reasons this country needs the sense, sensibility and values represented in The Saturday Evening Post. Love the website AND the magazine equally so. Meanwhile Bob, I want you to stick with better TV marathons! I’d like to watch a bunch of 1962 episodes of Leave It To Beaver (mentioned in your new News column) because they feature Eddie and Lumpy a lot more. It still cracks me up how much in fear big Lumpy was of his Dad, often having to say things like “please daddy?”

  2. The late Humphrey Lyttleton, trumpet player and long-time host of the very funny radio show, “I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue”, said that they interrupted a music broadcast he was doing to inform the public that Parliament had not yet made a decision on a particular issue.

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