It fascinates me that in today’s culture, we feel that almost everything we need to learn, or see, or read, is just one click away. Need a new book? Click on Amazon to buy it. Or, click (or touch) on your Kindle to order it there. Want a new hairstyle? Upload a pic of your face and click to see what new styles will (and won’t) go with the shape of your head. Dissatisfied with your church? Most churches have websites now, so a new faith community is only a click away as well!
As clicking offers a convenience never before known, and we can easily click from our desktops, laptops, netbooks, phones, and other devices, I’ve started to think that perhaps I should give a little more thought to what I choose to click. If you’re an avid reader like me, then you probably often scour the Internet, facebook, and perhaps even a real, live newspaper, for your news. And you’ve probably, like me, noticed a trend in today’s news—that there isn’t much news in it anymore. Sure, there are lots of stories, stories broadcast 24-7 via cable news channels and web outlets, but a lot of them are stories about celebrities—what they said, did, wore, or conjecture about all three. (January and February are big months for this, especially due to all of the awards shows.) What I am not saying that all of these stories should be banned—that none of them are newsworthy. What I am saying is that in today’s culture, what the news media and advertisers choose to publish and broadcast is based on what we choose to click on. If we choose to click on a story that discusses the famine in the Sudan, then more advertising dollars go to the site that published that article, and if we choose to click on the story that shows the picture of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter, then TMZ gets those advertising dollars.
Resultantly, news editors begin to say that no one cares about stories about the Sudan (or stories about Africa, or stories about war, or famine), and before you know it, the only time we have the option to click on a story about the Sudan is if Beyonce decides to visit it, because that will be deemed newsworthy. As our culture moves to in-taking most of its news (and everything else) from the Internet, I encourage you to think before you click. Is the story, or video, or picture that you are about to click something that you think the world needs more of? Less of? Do you really need to satisfy your curiousity, or can you choose to click on something else—something more uplifting, something more important.
From first-hand experience, I know that it’s hard to resist clicking on things that you know won’t at all add to your intellectual capital. (I did it when I clicked on the picture of Blue Ivy Carter. She is beautiful, just like her mama.) But I’ve been making it a point, as a reader and as an emerging writer, to consider the power that I exercise with each click.
One of my friends—a wife, mother, and writer, recently lost her son Logan to cancer. She decided to document their family’s journey through a blog. Here is a link to her tribute to him: http://voices.yahoo.com/tribute-big-hearted-little-hero-10971802.html
Please click on it, and if you find it important, pass it on to others who might feel the same.