Note: My references are to secondhand sites referred to me through my Google News Feed and not to any stories or any writers on this platform
Every day I wake up and read. I typically start the morning off with a few chapters of my latest book of choice. Usually — regrettably — I end up browsing different sites, platforms and “news” outlets for stories that interest me. However, the offerings and options seem to be getting worse by the day.
The combination of over-saturation, our society’s obsession with political correctness and astounding ability to become offended over virtually anything, click-bait, and this generation’s definition of what qualifies as entertainment has completely ruined the state of internet news and reading.
Add in the lack of originality of so many writers and their insatiable desire to cater to their readers, rather than say what’s on their mind or what they actually think — and you are left with the dumpster fire that is the state of internet reading and writing.
I have been seeing essentially the same story, written over and over again by different writers, about Eminem’s daughter Hailie Mathers. What she was wearing at the beach that day or in her latest Instagram post — is not news.
Yet the stories are written on a weekly if not daily basis and end up in my Google Newsfeed. The same goes for anything Beyonce does, including what she wore on her way to — anywhere. Frankly, I’m beyond disappointed and disgusted. To even be loosely grouped in with the folks who write these stories is downright demeaning to me. They are everything I’d never want to be.
These “writers” degrade the craft and belittle genuine writers who actually have something to say. They’re demoralizing to the journalists who put themselves at risk every day, reporting on and publishing actual news stories.
There are no risks taken, no vulnerability — and no actual news being reported. To make matters worse, barely different versions of the exact same headline lingers at the top of dozens if not hundreds of different nonstory stories, across outlets, sites, blogs and platforms throughout painfully long cycles.
Add-in a few too many overly confident but grotesquely uninformed political opinions and you’ve got yourself an outright landfill. One that has begun its descent into my once clean streams of reading. We can and must keep them clean. We can and must do better — and demand better. Better stories and better work altogether.
Just this morning, I saw a story written yesterday about when Jay-Z and Beyonce met the royal couple. I’ve got news for whoever wrote that story — you’re late. You took a story that was written an excruciating amount of times by different writers across dozens of platforms, waited two weeks and re-wrote it. A story that was never hardly a story to begin with, mind you.
Two rich and famous people met two other rich and famous people who are also royalty — The End. What else is there to say? Can the collective world please get over their unhealthy obsession with Beyonce?
I get it, she’s extraordinarily beautiful and talented. And rich. Plus she married Jay-Z and they have children. Great, let’s move on.
The fact technology has given practically everyone the ability to publish their writing and work is great — except for the fact it ruined news and devalues actual writers. Those who show up day after day to write, not entertain.
Yes, writing is meant to entertain but I’d argue real writers don’t need an old recycled headline with Beyonce’s name in it, to engage an audience.
It’s insulting to people like myself and others, across this platform and elsewhere, who pour their blood sweat and tears into each and every piece they write. It’s degrading to writers and readers alike. There is no value being offered or provided. The clicks they so desperately cling to and covet are achieved more often than not — but little else is.
These substanceless stories are not only ruining online reading experiences but they’re dumbing us down as a society as well. They infect our conversations and kill any discussions of actual value. I don’t want to talk to you about what Beyonce was wearing and so help you God if you bring up such a mindless topic in my presence.
All I ask is if you’re going to write — please have something to actually say first. If you don’t, do the rest of us a favor and find a new hobby or profession. If you’re celebrity-obsessed, go join a fan club and leave the craft I love so dearly all the way out of it.