Frustration Friday – The Infinite Circle of Not News

Dear people who report on technology, media, and cutting edge stuff in general.

Please, for the love of gods, before you talk about something as if it is new and/or relevant, do your research and find out if it is.

Social Media is not new.

The idea that video games cause violence is not new, nor is the evidence those claims are stupid.

Microsoft claiming this version of Windows will be far better than the last is not new.

Anime is not new.  In fact, acting surprised that anything Japanese influences American popular culture makes you look like a moron.

I'm not sure why it is, but stories like the above, and others, keep popping up in media every few months or years as if they're the most amazing thing ever.  Its like they're zombie stories, shuffling around and occasionally eating the brains of reporters.  To those of us not infected, we find it annoying.

So, honestly, media people, stop it.

It makes those of us that work in areas of the geekonomy very, very frustrated because then we have to deal with the fallout of your zombie story shambling to life.

When some old fear – like video games and violence, or sex in anime, or people texting a lot – comes into play WE have to go explain it to people.  Worse, we have to explain it again to people as we've been doing this for years.  We're tired of explaining that video games don't destroy society, the latest computer virus won't bring civilization to the knees, and that we've been watching imported martial arts movies for years.

When you revive a long-dead, oft-repeated story it's a distraction to those of us who have to keep up with the news.  We think "wow, maybe this time it's real", and waste valuable time finding out you're repeating the same old stuff we've heard for a decade.  Our time is valuable, stop wasting it.

When you repeat some brain-dead non-story it also gets other people to follow it, and because they trust you they believe it is relevant.  Believing these things that are false, or old, or passed, they then go and do things that are wrong.  This leaves us progeeks to inform them of their mistakes and fix them.

Finally, when you waste time reporting something that doesn't matter or is old news, you waste time you could be doing something else.  You could report or discuss real, relevant issues.  I'd like you to do your job, thanks.

So next time you people in the media catch some hot new trend or story, kindly find out if it is indeed hot, new, and relevant, and save a lot of us working geeks the time.

We'd really appreciate it.

– Steven Savage