Not too long ago there was a magazine cover story titled “Is Facebook Making us Lonely?.” There are countless articles and blogs debating whether or not social media makes for worse parenting, friendships and family relationships. I've mostly poo-pooed those theories, maintaining that it’s up to an individual to balance his/her life appropriately with online and offline activities. Technology is there to make our lives better. The smart person understands that and uses technology and tools such as social media to their advantage, not to their detriment.
But now, I’m mad. Social media . . . and the state of journalism today in general . . . is ruining the Olympics for me! I literally have to stay off Twitter, Facebook and any news site if I want to enjoy the Summer Olympics my way: in front of my TV at night after a long work day. Just two years ago during the Winter Olympics, news outlets were giving us “splash pages” of a sort – warning us that if we WANTED to see the results of today’s activities to click through. Now, just logging onto CNN or the New York Times in an effort to keep up on national and international news of the day gives me the immediate results of that’s day’s Olympic events. No warnings. No “spoiler alerts.” Just the headlines shouting the results right on the home page.
Has journalism changed so much in just two years that the pressure to scoop the news outweighs long-standing courtesy related this much-loved international sporting event? Has social media culture changed so much in just two years that friends and family feel obligated to post everything of interest, to prove they are in-the-know, warnings and spoiler alerts be damned?
I’m a social media junkie. All day. Every day. It’s how I do my job. It’s how I communicate with colleagues and family. But for the next 10 days or so, I’m out. If something of national important happens, let me know. But not if it’s Olympic-related, please. I’d like to save the suspense for my nightly viewing and family-led chants of “USA! USA!”
What are your thoughts?
By, Kira Perdue