On not getting the news

The other day I had a casual chat with a few people I don’t know too well. They were very nice and friendly, but after a while I started noticing something. I’m a hardcore Facebook user with a fair amount of friends, which means that I usually get loads of interesting links, articles and stories together with my morning coffee. I also follow hundreds of people on Twitter, which means I’m basically overloaded by news each day.

The people I was talking to were not on FB (and therefore, in all likelihood, not on Twitter either) and what I noticed was that their frame of reference was totally different from mine. They were talking about things I read about last year and which have, since then, been followed by a dozen new studies and discussions. For a serious social media addict like me, these people just seemed so (excuse the expression) last year.

Of course I know that they probably have good reasons for not having time for social media (they might be working or something :-)). And I’m not saying being in social media makes me a better person either (could very well be the opposite…). Still, it undoubtedly makes me a better informed person.

Thinking about this made me wonder how much the shape our information flow has changed in just a few years. Today’s ever-present stream allows me to stay up-to-date with all the things that interest me but by doing that I’m also making a drift between myself and those who choose a different pace.

Who can say which mode is better in the long run? Obviously, we have no evidence today about how this fast streaming will affect us. Through times, humans have evolved and adapted to change – probably we’ll do fine with this one too. But the question is: what will happen to those who don’t? In a few more years, can you actually afford not to keep up?

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2 Responses to On not getting the news

  1. Hey, there! I really enjoyed reading your posts. Seriously good writing! I look forward to following you. In that sense I’m old-fashioned – really enjoy someone who knows their craft. Not a native speaker myself, I have a long way to go to reach your linguistic level but it doesn’t stop me from trying (and being stoical about failures :-). Thanks for being an inspiration!

  2. I’m a journalist and my husband works at a major daily newspaper…I often tell HIM stuff because it’s shown up during the workday on my Facebook pages from friends all over the world (i.e. several time zones ahead of us in NY). Between BBC and Facebook, I know a lot more than I’ll ever read or hear from “the news.”

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