Fast food, fast fashion, and fast journalism?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Why does everything have to be fast? What the hell is chasing us? Money, power, fame or winning unspoken competitions?

Each morning, I follow my routine: Get up, brew my coffee and then – I grab my phone to scroll, just scroll. Although I tell myself that I am catching up with what happened around the world during the night, I am not any more informed afterwards. Within ten minutes my head has been filled with attention-seeking headlines which contain, in essence, nothing but crap. I’m pretty sure we’ve all read our fair share of those. Yes, I’m very aware this issue isn’t new at all but that doesn’t mean we can just accept it. Besides, it is getting increasingly worse the more we tie ourselves to our smart devices.

In our interconnected world, things continually happen and develop all day, every day. And still sometimes it feels like we don’t have enough news to keep ourselves updated. Sometimes it’s like someone boiled too many potatoes for dinner and now we have to come up with different ways of eating them for the next five meals. If one of these “hot-potato-topics” comes up, it is all over the news for days, even weeks. It is written about by hundreds of journalists and still isn’t analyzed from enough angles. In a way, the same news would be on for a week, just with different headlines.

As time is money, news has to be new and fast. The faster they are, the more profit it will bring to a news agency. Who cares if someone’s privacy is violated if their life changes negatively because of shallow media coverage? Ordinary people get famous or infamous overnight but not by choice. Immediately, they are overwhelmed by “instant-noodle” mass attention with the main concern only being the number of “clicks”. “Instant-noodle” in this case meaning: easy to make but quickly leaves you hungry for more.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

To a greater extent, we are seeing one-sided stories; I guess we don’t have time to listen to both sides of a story. It is much easier to choose whom to support if you know only one side. After all, controversial, divisive stories receive more attention than a well-researched and balanced report.

Furthermore, I have the impression that there are fewer well-researched stories nowadays. Or are they just harder to find? Most of what we read is recycled from second or third-hand sources – if we are given any source at all. “Summarized from different sources” is basically just another way of saying “Don’t trust what you read here”.

What is happening in the way we see our world?

Is it still possible for us to correct things?

How will children grow up and handle this “flood” of news daily?

What heritages are we going to pass on to the following generations if our life is documented in such a way?

I admit I don’t have any simple answers. I’m not even a good writer myself. I just think it is important that we stay mindful about this issue, so we can learn to better sort out the relevant from the crap. We need to better acknowledge those writers and journalists who still write with pride in their profession, even if it means they have to struggle with their paycheck.

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