Sunday, January 29, 2017

Your daily birdcage-liner

It shouldn't be a surprise, and I'm sure someone's pointed it out way before me, but it's really pretty amazing how quickly the Internet has replaced the morning newspaper -- in just the way science-fiction writers predicted that computers would Totally Change Our Lives, years ago. These days if I'm too groggy even to try reading a real book, I can still pop open the laptop and suck up the latest news feeds.
Makes me wonder how I ever thought "published on the Internet" was a contradiction in terms.
Now, by the time I see a newspaper at work, I hardly ever look beyond the headlines. I've usually heard all the front-page stories on the radio or seen all the latest updates over the Internet.
Of course, newspapers can provide some DEPTH to the big stories -- or provide some opinions and humor with their columnists -- but thanks to blogs and all the people expressing opinions or joking around on-line, the Net's pretty-much got newspapers beat there, too.
So I wonder how long it'll be before all newspapers go on-line only, like the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER did, and NEWSWEEK magazine.
Probably not long.
I can't remember the last time I read something in a newspaper that really surprised me. Not in this 24-hour world, where you can get The Latest on your TV, smartphone, laptop, through texts, etc etc. Really pretty amazing. And addictive.
This past week I got back on Facebook after figuring it wasn't worth the trouble six months ago. And now that I've finally discovered (and figured out how to work) the SHARE button, I'm spending a few minutes each day trying to find OUTRAGEOUS news stories to share with my seven(?) Facebook followers worldwide.
It's addictive.
And luckily, outrageous news stories haven't been that hard to find lately.
It's pretty amazing, this multi-media behemoth we have all around us these days. Word about happenings spreads quicker than ever before, reactions come in faster, the hype builds up bigger. It's hard not to get carried away by all of it. Even if it would be better to sit back and take a breath and try to figure out what it all means.
I'm as guilty of this as anyone, and Ghod knows there's a lot to talk about these days. (Still haven't found any evidence that there are demonstrations and riots in Seattle EVERY DAY -- though it must sometimes SEEM like it, if you live there. If there's something to protest, Seattle people will hit the streets to do it. And there's been lots to protest, lately.)
...No deep thoughts here, just surprising to me that things have changed so quickly. Sometimes you get pushed into the High-Tech Space Age before you're even aware of it.
...By the way, have you re-read 1984 lately...?

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