I viewed the four-minute post of vlogbrother/author John Green – I doubt we’re related but you never know – in which he talked about taking a year off from much of social media, going on an Internet diet.
Then Arthur – you know Arthur, because I’ve mentioned him at least twice on this blog – wrote I think he’s on to something, he being John.
Hank Green’s big brother – that’s John, not me – states that his Internet is not working, And by “not working,” he’s not talking poor service from Spectrum cable. “John’s specific problem is wasting too much time on social media, and needing to compulsively refresh, and all the problems that flow from that.”
Yet he – that’s John, not Arthur – can watch things on YouTube, for example, with a degree of discernment and intentionality. I find that interesting because, if I were to allow myself to fall into a time-suck hole, it would surely be the medium that AUTOMATICALLY bounces from one video to the next.
You may have heard we held elections in the United States on the first Tuesday in November, and some pundit – I really don’t remember, or care, who – complained that she or he was upset because all the results of many of the races were not determined within 24 hours, because it wasn’t as much fun, or something.
Here’s an article from the OCTOBER 29 Washington Post: Think you’ll know who won on election night? Not so fast … It explains that counting the votes in some places, such as California, take a long time because “there are seven tight House races” and “because more than half of voters opt to use vote-by-mail ballots (a.k.a. ‘absentee’ ballots in some places). California ballots postmarked on Election Day have three days to show up at county elections offices.”
This may be great for democracy, but not so wonderful for punditry. The talking heads blather on the first Sunday after the vote about whether there was a “blue wave” of Democrats in the House of Representatives, but they’re basing their observations on necessarily incomplete data.
We all want to know, NOW, how many people were shot and killed in the latest mass shooting and why. So we go back to the story while the news folks get “analysts” to speculate. The Las Vegas massacre in 2017 was particularly frustrating to people in this regard because no clear motive was ever determined.
I was struck when the Butte County, California sheriff announced that the number of people unaccounted for jumped dramatically to 631, up from 130 the day before, even as the death toll kept rising. Some folks were musing, “How can that be?” Because it takes time to gather information in difficult, horrendous and unprecedented circumstances.
Maybe a year ago, there were three or four stories I was getting updates on when someone actually chastised me not knowing about yet another story that was less than three hours old.
I applaud John Green’s desire to step back from the fray of too much information that doesn’t nourish the soul. The last two years, in particular, seems it’s hard to keep track of it all. Not doing so IS an option.