Growing up, I hated watching the news. News was for grownups, I liked watching my afternoon sitcoms. At that time we had three channels, so it wasn’t as if there were that many shows to choose from. Still, I had my favorites: Gilligan’s Island, Hogan’s Heroes, F Troop, and many others. They were all silly shows, but they entertained us.
The evening news was not entertaining, and to make it worse, all the channels showed the news at the same time. No option then but to go and do my homework. Anything that drives you to do your homework is bad, right?
Even after I became an adult, I didn’t enjoy watching the news. News was still boring. All the news anchors had the same monotone inflection and I’m pretty sure they all bought their suits from the same tailor. Also, I lived in a small town. Top story tonight: They ran out of ice cream at the Dairy Queen . . . News at 11.
Today, I get my news off the internet. I typically waste a good hour each day skimming through websites looking to see what’s happening (another sitcom I liked back in the day). As I rummaged around today, I wondered: Is this really any better? Yes, there are more options to choose from, and you can find any perspective. One would think this would result in better informed people, but I’m not so sure. Like any other area of society, you don’t really have to have an open mind. Just visit the sites with which you agree. It’s just like having a hundred channels on cable and only watching six of them.
I think my biggest complaint about news in the past has not changed with the internet. Why must we fabricate news stories when there is nothing worth reporting? Or should I say nothing worth wasting my time? At least with the nightly news, I could understand they had to fill up the time. On the internet, this problem has increased exponentially. Who has the time to scour through all the crap?
Some of this crap is worse than the rest. With the internet has come my least favorite crap “news article.” I call it the “Highly Successful People” article. This article is designed to sell you something while at the same time, make you feel like shit about yourself. Here’s one I saw today:
“11 Things Successful People Never Do At the End of the Workday”
First of all, I have come to hate these lists. Secondly, who are these “Successful People?” Who decided they are successful? And why should I read this crap and feel bad about my lack of success? What are they trying sell me? It might just be that I should agree with their assertions. Maybe I’m supposed to conform to this author’s definition of success.
This whole “habits of rich people, successful people, people who are better than me” article is just annoying as hell. Maybe I should make my own list: “Top Ten Annoying Habits of Article Writers That Should Spend Their Time Doing Something More Productive.”
By the way, this post is not meant to teach you anything about success, making money, or feeling bad about your life. It is just a self-indulgent bitch session. Isn’t that what the internet is for?