(Part 4 of my ongoing series. Here are Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)
1. On his CNN show today, Brian Stelter had a Huffington Post reporter on talking about her grueling day of going without e-mail. She did this little experiment because Senator Lindsey Graham and others recently said that they don’t use e-mail. Could she do that too? So she went without e-mail (and social media) for an entire 24 hours! Somehow – somehow – she got through the day, even though she actually had to use her PHONE to get in touch with people! (Insert gasp here.)
Oh, I should probably mention a few things. First, she had an assistant who could e-mail for her. This assistant could even print out the e-mails to show the reporter, because I guess reading e-mail on a piece of paper isn’t really reading e-mails? Or something? (Her printer was broken so she couldn’t do this but she was going to.) Her assistant could also post on the reporter’s social media accounts. Oh, did I tell you the reporter could read her social media accounts if she wanted? She could also text and instant message people. Other than, she totally went a whole day without checking her e-mail and somehow survived.
Hey, I’m going to go a whole day without driving a car. I’ll just have my chauffeur drive me around.
2. It’s 2015, but apparently it’s still optional for publications to pay writers who did work for them (and it’s also OK to send those writers cease-and-desist orders).
3. I’ve noticed that a lot of TV news anchors are now holding tablets while they deliver the news. I guess it shows they’re cool, tech-savvy, always in-the-know! It’s also massively silly-looking and distracting. But I guess it’s the best way to keep track of all those tweets coming into your account from viewers giving their opinions on the stories you’re reporting on, because social media is the most important thing now.
4. Speaking of, I’ve been a bad Twitter quitter. After writing my anti-social media essay a while back, I’ve managed to stay off Twitter for 98% of the time (maybe it’s less – I’m not good at math) but I’ve certainly been a lurker, using it as a news feed and posting links to new articles I’ve written. And that’s probably the best way to use it if you can, though I’ve found I can’t. If you’re a journalist it’s hard to get away from it, because so many people in that profession base their professional and personal lives around social media now that you miss out on what’s going on (or at least finding out quickly).
But I don’t really consider myself a journalist, I’m a writer, and I want to stay away from it as much as I can and just write. Remember when there was a sense of mystery with writers and celebrities? A writer would write something (or a celeb would make a movie or TV show or release an album) and you might read or watch an interview with them, but then they’d go back to their lives. You wouldn’t constantly read a stream of what they were thinking/observing/experiencing/watching/eating. Remember when we actually wrote more than spending time on social media promoting ourselves and our writing? Remember when we didn’t have to be “on” all the time?
You don’t remember those things? Well, you must be under 30.
5. Words and phrases people have to stop using right now, no matter what your age:
“All the feels”
“Asking for a friend”
“That thing where…”
“____ I am in you”