I was texting with a friend of mine yesterday about the insanity of our information pipeline. She was trying to remember the psychological term for some thing or another. I honestly can’t remember exactly what we were talking about, but it was akin to Survivor’s Guilt, but in the context of feeling an obligation to take advantage of the resources around you – in her case, the particularly scenic region she lives in.
I have really odd conversations, I know.
The inevitable Google search for the correct term unearthed nothing of use whatsoever, returning only a treasure trove of clickbait slideshows. 15 Reasons to Get Outside This Summer! 12 Reasons Not to Feel Guilty for Staying Inside!
It’s insulting, on its best day. Are we this helpless?
The other day I caught a glimpse of the teaser for an upcoming news broadcast. You know the ones, the, “We’ll tell you the rest, tonight at 10.” Those are maddening, mainly because they don’t care if you get the information or not – they’re not in it for you. They just want our attention for the ad revenue.
“A child molester is loose in this Houston neighborhood. Is it yours? Find out tonight at 10.”
Umm, that’s information I need now. I don’t want your dumb carrot or your stick. I just want the information I came for.
Anyway, not that I had much faith in our media before, but this was the teaser I saw. God is my witness, a major network, on my television. Just a smarmy anchor in his suit and tie, flashing bright white teeth at the camera as he utters this phrase with a straight face:
“Don’t know which side of the car your gas tank is on? We have the secret tonight at 10.”
I don’t want to belittle any of you who don’t know; I’ll just assume you’re in a rental, or you lost the ability to get out and look. Nevertheless, it tells you. There is a tiny arrow on your gas gauge that points left or right.
I’ve gone my whole life believing everyone knew this already, and while I am forgiving of those who didn’t know before they read the previous sentence, I would also hardly consider that a “secret,” much less one worthy of being teased for five hours.
“Not sure which hole in your body your food goes in? We have the secret tonight at 10.”
And just when I think we’re smarter than that, there will some guy shoving slices of pizza up his butt, setting his DVR…
We’re smarter than they act like we are.
Don’t let them pull you down.
Gas tank is on the right. Food goes in the mouth hole. And we definitely don’t need a Buzzfeed article to tell us any of that.