The internet is great in a lot of ways. Puppy videos, instant access to music, up to date news without having to look at some newcaster’s perfect teeth. But sometimes I just wish information would travel a little slower so it doesn’t get out of hand.
Today, finally, we’re getting some, hopefully, solid news on what happened in Boston. It only takes an entire militia taking over a town before we can stop making stupid guesses about an event and learn what’s really going on. We finally know who to aim our digital pitchforks and torches at.
There’s a lot of shit being thrown at the media for releasing half ass information about the events in Boston over the last couple of days. And they made some really dumb predictions and guesses about stuff they had no idea about. But why do they do it?
Because they know people want to hear “something”. More than ever the internet has bred news junkies that need to feed on stuff like this constantly. The same people that watch CNN all day. So the media is forced to put out what they think is happening just to appease the audience.
Not that they’re faultless. Fact checking has gone in the toilet over the last few years. When Perez Hilton is responsible for breaking a story, yeesh. I suppose I should be thankful that nobody has discussed the Kardashians in days.
What would I prefer? I’d like to see a newscaster come on every 30 minutes and say “We don’t know anything yet and we don’t want to give you incorrect information. Hang out, watch a ‘Cheers’ rerun and check back with us in a bit.”
And then when something is actually known, bring it on. But even that wouldn’t work, because everyone has a mic now. Twitter and Facebook would still be full of people making guesses that someone else would run with as fact. It’s the digital equivalent of “No, dude… My friend Steve totally told me this was right.” Your friend Steve is a stoner with a large collection of conspiracy books.
So this is going to be how the news cycle works for the foreseeable future. Idiots making guesses until we get real information. Innocent people being blamed for things they didn’t do. Little splinters of hate being created against people who don’t deserve it. People have to look up how to spell Chechnya correctly.
While the actions of the people at the scene of the crime were super admirable, the actions of the internet were deplorable for the most part.
If knowing every detail of an event (true or not) is important to you, then keep on keepin’ on. But don’t blame the media for giving you what you want. If you eat all the food in the house, eventually you’re going to get to that half a jar of peanut butter in the back of cabinet from 1983. And it may not taste right.
If you’d like to escape the vicious cycle, do what I do. In the morning, glance at Google Trends and the trending topics on Twitter. Therein lies anything you need to know about what’s going on in the world. You’ll know when the guessing has stopped and the real facts are starting to emerge. You’ll know exactly which stories to pay attention to and which to ignore. And you save the stress of playing the giant game of Telephone.