Editorial #49 News Papers and Social Media for March 12, 2019
Today we have technological marvels with incredible capabilities giving us solutions to problems we didn’t know we had.
The year I graduated as an engineer, was the last year for anyone to graduate without the use of a handheld calculator during our college career. Every calculation to solve any problem was done with a slide rule, which required us to estimate the answer first. That skill is lost today with few questioning anything. The promise of computers was huge, but it spawned the term: “garbage in garbage out”, and we spend an average of 11 hours each day in front of a computer screen.
Computers were supposed to increase productivity and efficiency. But the actual result was nothing close. It only raised the level of mediocrity and eliminated the requirements to think. It didn’t save time or improve productivity. The human productivity of individuals has actually decreased and is a huge time waster with all the games and entertainment available on them, which many play when they should be working. Today many people are incapable of doing much of anything without the machine, even to the point of using a pencil to write their name in cursive with the internet practically eliminating interpersonal relationship skills.
The real tragedy is this new age is causing the ruination of everything we formerly cherished as a society. Verbal conversation is dying, dialogue is cursory and relationships on social platforms are replacing newspapers and small town loyalties with a hand held device to which we all are addicted. The average screen time on any of these hand held devices has reached over three hours per day, and more if you are a student.
The next tragedy is we are oblivious to the addiction we have to these devices with our justification being we need to be informed, relevant and/or influential.
I have to admit that I am addicted to Facebook and I hate that with every ounce of my being. The only consolation is I am not the only one in the world who is. But that is of little comfort, just as being addicted to opioids is no less of a problem if there are millions of other addicts in the world with the same problem – that is actually the definition of an epidemic.
Sadly, the most successful money making ideas in the world are all addictive. Be it from tobacco, alcohol, drugs, pornography or the internet in this case. Sarcastically, the solution to the making newspapers successful again would be to make them addictive. Should they lace each paper with a narcotic so people will crave it when it arrives? A few years ago, the newspaper industry actually tried to accomplish this task by infusing the paper with certain smells in an attempt to make them more appealing.
The newspapers of today are no longer appreciated. They were once a vital resource for information, necessary for making informed decisions by any engaged citizen.
Today they are dying because the world was sold on the idea that a website or a social media account is the answer to circulating your message to the world, and it is free! Actually we all spend an average of $1000/yr. for this capability. These websites also fail to understand the importance of the missing ingredient that only a local newspaper provide. Newspapers are the ONLY central source of information for a town, region or country, with accurate coverage that is nearly impossible to have with any social media platform, even with all of us participating. The sheer amount of random information mixed in with real news, makes even the most serious social media user incapable of separating, categorizing or “editing” useful information like a newspaper can.
Internet websites think they do not have to link with any other media sources. They feel they can be completely independent and autonomous from any other source of information. They no longer feel the need to be a part of a greater whole, to be effective. This is a serious issue in the vastness of the internet as it spreads globally. Each country, culture, and individual person is able to share it all, equally that results in all get equally lost in this avalanche of information with very little learned from it.
It is incredible to think these internet users fail to see the need to reach out to the only unifying entity of any community, the local newspaper. They have no other way to assurance the accuracy or usefulness of their information without the newspaper.
By simply sharing their link with the paper’s web pages or simply sharing it for print, gives several orders of magnitude more followers and shares. It is the most obvious and least utilized feature of social media. Internet users don’t think in the terms of a dialogue, only a selfish monologue that few see or care about.
This is another example of the “frog in the boiling pot.” These technological advances are destroying the very fabric of unity in communities and churches through the propagandizing of social justice, amoral ideas and non-patriotic issues that was the glue in our constitutional republic.
Support your local newspaper and encourage others to include them as a link in any of your postings so your message can be included by advancing our core values of truth, fairness, sustainability and integrity.
This is Keith Kube hoping you will all join together to make the world a better place.
Keith Kube, from Northeast Nebraska, is a business analyst and author of two books on business management. The books are available at most District 40 libraries, the Elkhorn Valley Museum, Norfolk City Library, Norfolk High School, Norfolk Catholic, Northeast Community College and Amazon.
During his career as an engineer, investment banker and business analyst he identified traits commonly overlooked that are vital for all successful business operations and government. You can hear all his past editorials or review his books by going to his website: www.keithkube.com.