A few years ago, Colleen and I canceled our cable television service, and gave away our TV. The original intent was to stop wasting our time watching crap and either talk or read more. The theory was sound, but ultimately the practice was a bit.. unrealistic (within months we were downloading our favourite shows and watching on the computer huddled around my 15″ monitor).. Today however, our TV is in the upper 30″ range (a freebie that replaced our 22″ TV), we still don’t have cable, but we watch the shows we want when we want via internet, and we watch movies. One thing we don’t watch is the news, we don’t get the newspaper either, and we’ll randomly do a drive-by on News.Google to see what’s happening.
A while back someone pointed out that the news is filled with sensational stories about bad things that happen. If something major happens that you truly need to be aware of – someone will let you know. Heck, they’ll let you know even if you don’t need to be aware of it.
Am I anti-news? No, not at all – I’m just anti-depressants and the news is one of the biggest ones around. Am I uninformed? Nope. If I need to know something I know where to look it up, I have family and friends who will keep me in the loop, and there is enough chatter throughout the office that will keep me well informed whether I want to be or not. Now, where this gets interesting is how you can know what is going on without actually accessing a news site.
I was rolling through the list of people who I am subscribed to and who are subscribed to my Twitter feed, and I was looking for people I should be subscribed to, who are subscribed to me, yet I am not subscribed to them. On a quick side note – Twitter, your interface could seriously use some work. After a couple pages of subscribers who I am subscribed to mixed in with a bunch of people I’m not (and have no intention of – unless there is a real full name associated with you account, I’m not likely to subscribe to ‘quickcash4u’ or some other crap like that), I came across TweetStats, which lead me to their main page. After doing some stats generating on my own Twitter activities (yeah, pretty strong at the beginning of 2008, and then everything seems to have died), I came across the overall trends section which gives a small snapshot of what’s going on in Twitterville:
Hmmm, I wonder what could possibly be going on in the world today… Christmas is the surprising trend today given that it was finished over a week ago, but I’m guessing that it’s people talking about their christmas vacation as they prepare to return to work (for those of us who had a nice long break and are NOT looking to return to the office tomorrow!). Without going to news.google, I’m pretty sure that the Israeli and Hamas are at it again in Gaza, the Colts and Chargers are playing (or just did play) a game, and Macworld has some news… verification with news.google… Hamas ready for bitter urban battle, Chargers shock Colts in overtime, and finally Apple fans pray for Steve Jobs surprise at final Macworld…
We are inundated with news, about everything, from just about everywhere. So what’s my point, right? Do yourself a favour this year, read/watch less news (I’m not saying become more ignorant about the world you live in), instead, keep your eyes open for small updates from many sources to get the overall picture of what is happening (then drill in on specifics), and when something major happens, trust me, you’ll know.