- Brexit, the desired exit from the EU, or was it just an “accident” of direct democracy?
- Nice, the rampage of a madman, or an Islamist attack after all?
- The helpless-seeming coup in Turkey, or did Erdogan neglect to impede an attempted revolution, because he knew that he could knock it down with ease?
- Munich, where at first three IS-terrorist bombers were suspected – and the information situation changed to a mere bullied student’s rampage within one day.
News chasing news. What’s going on in the world? Nevertheless, if we take a closer look, there is not much more happening than there was a decade ago. It is only our perception of world events that has changed.
When MySpace started its business in 2003, it was the starting point for millions of people to populate the Internet. The era of netizens (Internet inhabitants) – the net citizenship – began.
Then, in 2003 a certain Mr. Zuckerberg had the brilliant idea that one could let people evaluate each other – called Facebook – and they like it.
This is comparable to the “mutual delousing of the Apes” in terms of social interaction. – The Web 2.0 was born.
In 2006, the first tweet was heard in the media forest. The medium for instant journalism was born. Hundreds of millions of people followed another hundred million people and shared their tweets immediately. And further. And further. An event happening anywhere in the world, is known all over within seconds. Looking at how quickly a hashtag currently in vogue spreads, the term “conflagration” comes to mind.
And as it is with any invention entering the world, it is further developed: not Twitter itself, the 140 characters, which spread news similar to a text message, but the use of this medium. Journalizers around the world are constantly anxious to miss even a single trend. Never forget:
The readers in the online newspapers are eagerly waiting for the next “hottest shit”.
So it’s really no wonder that over the years, fast(lived)ness in the online editing staffs has risen, until finally in 2016, everything has to be worked through at a baffling speed. Therefore, no more time remains for reasonable fact checking. Even legitimate foreign correspondents tweet fake news by some joker as facts, when it fits into their worldview. (Meanwhile he deleted it again)
Tweets are like birds: Once released, they fly out into the wide, wide world and can no longer be taken back.
We all, who participate in Twitter, are playing along, though! All the journalizers, who pick up these news immediately and then ultimately present them in their online newspapers as facts. They spread huge amounts of incorrect news that they must afterwards withdraw again. Which often happens only very bashfully and in silence.
The hoax itself however remains in people’s minds.
Everything has to happen quickly – right up to the news on TV. Curiosity and hunger for something new takes over. One of the fundamental negative qualities of man has finally found a platform. Very many of us crave the next sensation. At the same time this increases the feeling that the world is falling apart. That all have gone crazy and we are one step away from disaster. Which then culminates in the urge to not want to miss any current development, even when nothing can be done about them. “I can’t go to sleep unless I know how this plays out.”
No, the world is not disintegrating. It is also not a totally exceptional historical epoch in which we live. No apocalypse is imminent.
But, the fact is, that we constantly want to get involved everywhere – and that is slowly driving us insane. We immediately share anything that seems to be correct. Many of us, without even once examining the source..
And so I want to gift myself and all of you who are you information junkies like me, with a recommendation:
“Take a break, man!”
I have already done it once before and enjoyed it. As a christian believer, I actually even have a commandment to relax for a day, to use 24 hour as a day off and to unwind. My Sunday is internet free. For me, the world returns a little bit to normal on that day. We meet again on Monday! My guess is that I will not have missed anything essential this time, just like any of the other times..
Have a nice quiet Sunday, you all!
Translation from German: Serena Nebo