Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Keeping Up

Despite all of the social media sites and the availability of abundant and quick communication outlets, I am finding it challenging to keep up with friends. Emails back and forth languish in that "we have a shared history" area but can't quite make the transition over to "what is going on in your day-to-day" place. It is hard to know what people are interested in knowing about your daily existence. I know for me, my job keeps me busy; and facebook, blogs, and random texts can only go so far in remaining close to the friends I miss most. For now I am fine with our relationships being dependent on social networking sites, e-mails, and texts. But over time, I can't help but imagine it will ensure the decline of some relationships to mere acquaintance status.

However, I definitely think it is worth the effort to keep these relationships going. It will be nice to travel to see some of our friends in different parts of the U.S (and Canada). I hope this post doesn't sound overly negative, it is more of an attempt to put into words what I see going on with myself and other friends in similar situations.

Information Culs-De-Sac

Many news agencies today are known more for their political leanings than their journalistic integrity. Journalism, for many people, has become simply another form of entertainment. This has led to increasingly polarized discussions of key issues, as not even the basic facts of a discussion can be agreed upon. When news outlets only serve to reinforce the biases of their consumers, they are failing in their fundamental duties. I certainly understand the need for specialized sources, and that many are serving a niche audience. However, in an age of intellectual laziness, where many people can't understand the difference between opinion and research, it is hard to justify such low standards are being continued.

However, it is hard to imagine a rapid improvement in the state of the mass media outlets. Particularly when Faux News had its best year ever, in terms of ratings. This is especially disheartening as repeated polls have shown that Fox News viewers are among the most poorly informed. Until these supposed 'news' agencies begin challenging the respective biases of their viewers, it is difficult to imagine coherent debates on important issues.