Believe it or not, this fairly wise essay-thing — “7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable” — is from CRACKED.com. Really. Being an incurable introvert, I can’t go along with all that stuff about dealing with actual people in the real world (barf). And the stuff about the news media (or what’s left of it) will be old, well, news to some.
“Some of us remember having only three channels on TV. That’s right. Three. We’re talking about the ’80s here. So there was something unifying in the way we all sat down to watch the same news, all of it coming from the same point of view. Even if the point of view was retarded and wrong, even if some stories went criminally unreported, we at least all shared it.
“That’s over. There effectively is no ‘mass media’ any more so, where before we disagreed because we saw the same news and interpreted it differently, now we disagree because we’re seeing completely different freaking news. When we can’t even agree on the basic facts, the differences become irreconcilable. That constant feeling of being at bitter odds with the rest of the world brings with it a tension that just builds and builds…”
But this David Wong guy is pretty young yet, and already has his head on more or less straight (except of course that conspiracy theories thrived long before the internet). Yeah, I’m as guilty as anyone of echo chambering — other people’s stupid opinions make me angry, so I consume a special media diet, which renders me even more sensitive to idiocy. I’m not ready to give it up yet, but at least his points are exceedingly well made.
You might even email his essay to someone you know. Assuming you actually know someone…