A few years back, I picked up a book called In the Shallows. I had read Nicholas Carr’s article Is Google Making Us Stupid?, and the author’s concerns mirrored my own. Was I losing my attention span? Was I finding it hard to consume information unless it was cut up into bite sized pieces? Was I craving validation through social media? Was I becoming a slave to the little device with the blinking light?
To be very clear, I love the internet and I think it’s more positive than negative. I also think that it needs to be managed carefully. I think it’s something we need to think about, talk to our kids about and I know I need to be more mindful of my use. Here are some of my concerns and observations about the way social media and the broader internet is changing our hearts, minds and imaginations.
Today, I am angry.
I am angry because instead of celebrating a wedding Stephanie Scott’s family and friends are lost in grief and planning memorials. I am angry that a newspaper felt it was acceptable to make a joke out of a Stephanie’s disappearance. I am angry that her family and friends, whilst going through the most terrifying experience of their lives, were treated with disrespect. I am angry that I am hanging my wedding dress on my front door in the hope that it will show support for Stephanie’s family and raise awareness. I am angry that violence against women is something that requires awareness. I am aware that women will participate in #PutYourDressOut and their motives will be questioned. I did it because I think we need to show solidarity. I think we need to say “Enough”. I think we need to get angry. Read more
Fridays I work from home. Which means that I spend more time on social media than I should. My feed, like everyone elses, was filled with this dress and endless opinions on its colour. I joined in. Others joined in. The whole damn world joined in.
Cyclone Marcia has been downgraded to a tropical low and it’s bucketing as I write this. Residents in Yeppoon and Rockhampton are facing clean up and rebuilding as we brace for potential flooding further south. We live in a tropical climate and this is what happens during our summers.
But recently, the news has gone a little weird when it covers events like this. Ever since the 2011 Brisbane floods, “weather events” have become “24 hour news events”. The thing is that whilst waiting for a cyclone to hit, there really isn’t that much news to cover. Once you have imparted the important safety information and the weather forecast, there is precious little left. But it doesn’t stop our broadcasters trying. Bless them.
This is my imagined version of what happens in news rooms and broadcasts during the lead up to a cyclone. Read more