Friday, 23 September 2011


I am very much an old fashion type of gal.
To me, a chocolate milkshake (no cherry, please) and Golden Girls marathon (pay no attention to the involvement of the PVR) followed by some late night gossip with a girlfriend made possible by my gold-trimmed white rotary telephone sounds like a pretty happenin' friday evening.
Even a night on the town is nice once in a while. I've got the rounded sunglasses (yes, even in the dark) and you make sure your outfit is shoulder padded. After I get home I'll journal about the whole damn thing using my typewriter, Virginia Slim hanging from my mouth and all.
...Maybe in Manhattan. Maybe in the eighties. One thing's for certain: these events would not happen today, tonight, whenever without an entirely new meaning being assigned to the notion of 'a little birdy told me.' That's right, I am talking about twitter.
I am also thinking about it since I am now on it.
At first I was against the entire idea, and now I've reached a point of indifference although I am starting to see (meaning observe, not necessarily appreciate) what are known to be some of the benefits.

Sure, news travels fast. With twitter it travels way, way fast. And while I realize that when we receive information rapidly, we are empowered to react to it rapidly, I can't help but wonder why things need to be so quick. Our entire universe is changing at such a rapid pace and I would be lying if I tried to convince you that to me, it's all entirely positive. I can't help but get a little sad over the fact that we seem to be approaching a time where everything is instant and right there before us, a time when 'you' is expressed using only one letter (what I have come to acknowledge as the potential bane of english literature) and the human race may very well adapt square eyeballs if only to gaze at a screen and naturally be able to take the whole thing in. A time when a webcam is considered a means to an end equating to quality time and, possibly most sad of all, a time when people will not wake up in the wintertime, brew a fresh pot of coffee and sit down to read, in print, the stories of the world around them. There will not be the sense that, even if it's 8 AM and dark outside (thank you, Winnipeg) I am at my kitchen table properly informing myself of what's going on, adequately getting a sense of another perspective, and then another, and if only for those reasons, I would not want to be anywhere else. At least right now.
I guess I just don't want to trade that stuff for the ability to read 'stories' ('140 characters or less, people!' news editors will soon be shouting) only to move on to the next. Granted, 'newspapers' will still be available on your iPad but I've tried bringing my macbook pro in bed with me at five AM to get the scoop before school and trust me, it's not fun. You'd think a blaring screen and freezing cold case would keep you awake; it actually makes you want to go back to sleep and not wake up until the actual paper arrives on your doorstep, crossword and all.

I feel as though my insight has been strengthened by Page One, a documentary that allows viewers inside the New York Times. The film really touches on the future of the newspaper. I strongly recommend it.

So, what do you think? Does the early bird really get the worm, or can we wait and get what seems to be a more thoroughly investigated projection of information from the old-fashioned, ink-all-over-your-hands-by-the-time-you're-through-with-it papers?


  1. Good post.

    We live in a "top news = the most-recent news" culture, where you post first and edit later. Like it or not, that's the currency of our times.

    I told my class about my experience as...a newspaper boy delivering the Winnipeg Tribune. I had to have the papers delivered by 10 p.m., which were full of yesterday's news!

    Some nights, I'd nap, eat dinner, and talk on the phone while the papers sat in a big pile in my front yard.

    People were content to wait for it, because that was the only way to get it. Now: we can get it as it's happening, which makes receiving it later at least "quaint" and at most "not required."

    Websites like Politico are filling the void for fact-checking and analysis, but if we want inky hands again, I believe we'll have to wait for the app that does that.

  2. There is no question that top news = most recent news, however how can I, as a reader, be entirely certain that most recent/top news = accurate information? If quickness is the priority and speed determines what qualifies as top news, are those who deliver it compromising investigation and thus, accuracy? Posting first only to edit later makes no sense to me.

    Additionally, I do not see how readers can possibly have time to develop thought and understanding about that which surrounds them if every five seconds, they- we-, are onto the next.

    Out of curiosity, what do you mean when you say that websites like Politico fill the void for fact-checking and analysis? I did a bit of research and have yet to discover something about that particular publication that makes it seem any more or less inclined to verifying facts and analyzing information.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and reply.

    p.s. I most definitely had a flyer route too…well actually, my brother did. I took it over after he discovered it entailed publicly handling a bright red wagon laden with bra catalogues from Sears. Because flyer routes were in high demand among kids my age, my brother did not formally resign and rather, just let me do the job. Every week I had to call the guy who dropped the flyers off and in my best masculine voice confirm that they had indeed been delivered.

  3. Good post indeed! I can't think of anyone else I'd rather deliver my Sears bra catalogues than you.

  4. and I would love to deliver them, snooze