Ahead of the next round of Tracy Morgan news that’s sure to flood our Facebook News Feeds, I thought it would be a good time to point out a fundamental error in a common complaint I see posted all over Facebook from time to time: The reason why our Facebook News Feeds suck — the reason “mainstream media” sucks altogether — is because WE are “the media.” Yep, your crappy news is all your own fault!
Maybe Tracy Morgan news isn’t all over your Facebook News Feed, and I just follow too many publications (or all the wrong ones), but pick whatever stupid topic you have seen dominate your News Feed and insert here to follow along, because the topic is pointless — the fact that the topic is less than news is.
Have you seen any of these and thought to yourself, “OK, I love Tracy Morgan, but really? Do we need minute-by-minute updates on his car crash?”
The answer, of course, is no. So why are outlets seemingly obsessed with reporting every last detail of this non-saga as it happens? Because they are reporting on the stuff we click and read. If you want hard-hitting news, click and read hard-hitting news — and not just on Facebook, everywhere online.
Publications, like every other business in the world, have to make money, and most do so with advertising. Advertisers want eyeballs on their adds. Your eyeballs (the population in general, and let’s be honest, sometimes that does include you) are reading reality show-quality material, so your (our) news is a reflection of that.
Want to change it? If you find yourself clicking on that first Tracy Morgan (or whatever) story, because who wouldn’t be curious, once you know the hilarious actor is not dead and you see five more articles pop up sharing additional details (that really aren’t worth your time to read), click that little X in the corner and you’ll see these options:
Although it will be hard, and we promise Tracy Morgan’s feelings will not be hurt (we have no way to keep this promise, FYI), click “I don’t care about this.” And maybe, just maybe, your News Feed will find room for useful items, like non-crazy political pieces, assuming those exist.
Actually, you might be better off sticking to the reality-show-type news.