We played a game of 52-Card Pick-Up when I was a kid. You probably did too. That was when you didn’t feel up to the complexities of Fish or Crazy Eights. So you threw a deck of cards in the air and whoever picked up the most cards won.
Now ABC News is doing the same thing.
With its new app for the Ipad, ABC News is allowing you to spin, shake, touch, filter, share and engage all the information it has on its news website. Sounds more like Spin the Bottle than a discovery of the day’s world events.
Which leads me to reiterate my belief as a journalist that there is no longer an editor or gatekeeper, no longer a framework for history as it unfolds. Just shake your laptop like a snow globe and see what falls.
It’s a presumption that all news has equal value, that all information from the Angelina Jolie interview to maggots on a plane and Chelsea’s wedding cannot be prioritized, organized, grouped together into some ladder of interest.
They say it is about your choice. But really it is not. You have no choice at all what arrives. It is absolutely random.
Shake, shake, shake, shake your news feed. Shake your news feed.
The presumption is also that you just don’t care what you learn first as a news consumer. That whatever information arrives whenever is just fine by all of us. All of it has the same level of importance.
It is a new take on Everyman News. It is EveryWhichWay News. And it gives me the creeps.
Sure, I don’t have an Ipad and I could just be jealous. I don’t want to spin, shake, touch, filter, share and engage. I want to read, watch, listen, comment. On what I want and need to when I want to. Not just because the snippet shows up randomly or is the most popular or lands on me like a meteor falling from the sky.
Because I don’t care about a lot of stuff that is out there. And I do care deeply about information and news that may not appear just because I was shaking like crazy. Enduring a haphazard arrival of events is not something I embrace.
Life is already like that. My news doesn’t have to be.