“What’s new?” versus “What is best?” seems to be the core problem in the current state of the media. Everything is so fast paced, the second somebody blows their nose, its all over twitter and being sent to our cellphones. CBC News is so preoccupied with providing “News NOW” that it gives the same broadcasts three or four times over the course of one morning.
The internet is the cause, of course. There is so much information out there, the only way to cater to an audience is to have the most up to date information! This is where most online newspapers/journalists/bloggers have made their mistakes. They are the young, hurried mechanics that Persig descrives. Quantity wins over quality, and now everybody is regretting it. Fortunately, the way out of this economic rut is going to be to put the best quantity journalism out there so that people will buy it. Hopefully. Twitter will still be around to give the world their minute-by-minute fix of a celebrity breakup, and help with ‘breaking news,’ but that is only a small part of what we call ‘journalism’, so I’m not too worried.
Maybe its because I grew up in a world with a computer to use whenever I needed it, submersed in books and video games, and a world where my parents would kick me out of the house to play in the dirt with my friends when I spent too much time on the computer, but I don’t find technology a source of unbalance and stress as does Persig. He pointed out things about technology that I admit I have never noticed. It’s just there, a part of my life as everything else is.
I guess I’m lucky that I spent most of my childhood playing hide and seek and tagging along while my guy friends built “camps” in the woods. I have a blackberry, I have a laptop, I have an ipod, I have a tv, and I don’t find it overwhelming. It’s a little bit pathetic at times, and I admit that I know absolutely nothing about the mechanical aspects of ANYTHING (though I did build my own bookshelf), but I think technology and myself have a pretty good relationship. We get along, and when we don’t, there’s always a book, or a walk, or a camping trip, or a snowman-making adventure.
Maybe I’m overly optimistic – I’m usually much more cynical, but I can’t see media staying the way it is. Technology will evolve, and people will evolve. Technology can’t be ignored, it’s in our faces and oh, so addicting. But eventually quality will have a say again. It will demand attention.
And when all of the things we are addicted to aren’t free anymore, it’ll be easier to take a walk outside. Our phones and ipods and ipads and whatever will keep us “connected” but it will be easier to notice the grass and bluebirds again. I hope.