I am realizing a pattern in the things that I have written recently – a lot of it has to do with the old-school approach to the argument between new media and old media. I am a 22-year old trapped in a self-righteous 40-year old human being’s body. I have always sided with old media for one reason —the way new media caters to its readers rather than it delivering.
The Internet’s lingua franca is now the listicle. With all forms of Internet’s media being ruled by these lists with captions and pictures masquerading as articles, it is next to impossible to find a thorough, well-researched, well-written article on the front page of the internet. No matter what the topic, issue, or the event, the only forms of “news” that pop up are this listicle with their definitive and persuasive headlines —definitive in a way that it restricts its readers from exploring further or forming their own opinion.
There is no reporting on the Internet anymore. There are opinion pieces, open letters, lists, op-eds, take down pieces, public humiliation; the Internet is conditioning a generation filled hyperactive, attention-deficit millennial to borrow opinions instead of forming their own. This also has a lot to do with how we as a society and as a culture have begun to reject and dismiss anything that’s intellectual in nature. This has got to do with our need to make everything accessible to the masses, seek approval, and hone the Internet’s environment to react to clicks and GIFs.
With the amount of personality quizzes that I have been taking (thank you, Buzzfeed), I have become self-aware of my privileged elitist intellectual snob self - big adjectives. I have been a strong adversary of “content” on the Internet and I am realizing that it’s a shouting contest that I’m losing. The Internet is the most democratic medium in the world right now and if I am going to lean extreme right and reject it, there is no way this ultra-idealistic listicle-free world that I’m picturing will manifest.
To prove my point, I am going to do what I know best – speculation! What if we lived in a world where print magazines and newspapers were the only ways by which people still received and read the news? What if there was no form of news or any kind of social or political content on the Internet?
The Internet is a mass medium. The newspaper is a mass medium that is not energy efficient, nor is it sustainable anymore. The Internet is magical when it comes to deciding what needs to reach its billion users and what doesn’t. It’s supposedly an organic process that might suffer from adulteration every now and then, but it does retain some of its democratic liberal magic. Users of the medium decide what they need instead of organizations run by white-collar elitists. This does bring up the debate about catering vs delivering the news, but it’s a model that could go either way.
Irrespective of how much hate I have for “content” on the Internet, I don’t think we could have made information and news this acceptable if not for it. Having said that, we do need moderators and intellectuals who know better than we do.
(When he isn’t writing, the creative producer with The Rascalas watches a lot of ‘cat videos’ on YouTube)