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Where did the news go?

Posted on 04.10.2013

We live in a world that is almost wholly ruled by the Internet. Many people will barely make it through the day without logging onto their Facebook, updating blogs that no one reads, checking e-mail, reading the news and doing God-knows- what-else online.
We then pry ourselves away from the computer screen to watch shows premised on videos found on the Internet, shows such as “Tosh.0,” “Ridiculousness” and others. However, it’s not just Comedy Central and MTV that present us with even more of the Internet. Now, television shows that used to be dedicated to hard news are playing the same fluff that can be found on any other channel.
I admit that while I did make the decision to go offline about two years ago, I can still be found watching the aforementioned shows. I can’t help but sit around and laugh at all the senseless people doing senseless things. I used to sit on my high seat of judgment and deem that the people who find themselves being made fun of on television deserve what’s coming to them. Recently, I’ve had a change of heart.
On March 19, I attended a Pacers game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. For a week afterwards, my life took on a very different agenda.
At halftime, my boyfriend and I went to forage for churros. Once we found that we weren’t having any luck, we settled for ice cream. Little did we know that this decision had bigger consequences than we expected.
We returned to our seats, finished watching the game, went home and spent the rest of the evening watching Netflix until we both fell asleep.
The next day was spent running errands and handling the day as usual. When we finally ended up at my boyfriend’s house, our friends rushed to meet us at the door.
This is when we saw the video of us that had gone viral. The video, which I hope you haven’t wasted much of your time watching, boils down to a simple couples’ spat.
He refuses to share his ice cream with me and does so without giving me a single glance. So in regular Georgia fashion, I can be found making a variety of ridiculous Disney animation faces. This is something that goes on pretty regularly in our relationship so for a while I struggled to find any humor in the video at all. I also did not revel in the fact that we had been secretly filmed and televised for everyone to see. It felt creepy.
After having a laugh at how unreasonable it is that this is considered something worth talking about, we resumed our day, believing that our 15 minutes of fame had come and gone.
The next couple of days, things became difficult to believe. We were contacted by “Fox 59,” “Good Morning America,” “Inside Edition” and “RadioNow.”
Again we questioned why this was something that anyone was concerned about, and again we came up inconclusive. Initially, like most people would, we leaped at the opportunity to be on these shows.
My boyfriend loved the spotlight; he is, after all, the star of the video. I felt differently.  As the stereotypical self-loathing girl that I am, the last thing I wanted to do was let anyone see me before 8 a.m. Reading all the comments online from the nameless, faceless people of the cyber bully world had already been damaging enough. Why did these individuals care so much? Enough to take time out of their day to come up with some witty or not-so-witty pun to throw at people they don’t know?
When we were filming the segment for “Inside Edition,” the director, a doppelganger for Ryan McPoyle and an all around cynic, asked us what we had done to get on this show. We simply looked at each other and asked ourselves the same thing. Then the director said something that made everything click.
He said that news hadn’t been news for a long time. In a society where Zuckerberg rules supreme, Snooki is a role model and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is one of the most watched shows on television, we must ask ourselves what  we are viewing. Are fluff stories like mine the new real news? Merriam-Webster defines newsworthy as “sufficiently interesting  to the general public to warrant reporting.”  By these standards it would seem that our silly video qualifies as newsworthy.
Being famous, even if it is for just 15 minutes, does not require skill, courage or talent anymore. In fact, it’s as simple as eating ice cream.


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