Living without the internet for a week (so far) really brings some things into perspective. This post is part 1 of a 5 post series about Internet Luxuries You're Taking for Granted.
Consider this post an expansion of the yesterday's general write up about buying a newspaper, mostly because that was written before sitting down and reading the paper and really having a chance to appreciate what online news sites really provide. While I'm not rescinding what I wrote about how I feel online journalist integrity has taken a backseat to "being first on the scene to report," — it's true some facts contained within news stories are created from pixie dust and unicorn tears — I am willing to overlook that for three simple reasons.
#1: The Sheer Size of the Fucking Paper
Have you ever felt like reading a novel that's been printed on a spinnaker? Or perhaps taken a trip to your local Best Buy to pick up your 60-inch Kindle Fire yet? No, you haven't! Because that would be fucking ridiculous. The size of the newspaper — dimensionally, not content — is like holding up a beach towel in the air to read the fabric loops. There's less material used in building Native American teepees. Of course this whole foldable billboard fiasco goes back hundreds of years and came about because of British taxation. Or some shit like that. Frankly, I can't do any research or cite any sources at the moment, but go read about it and post your finding below.
#2: The Amount of Content
Five sections of the paper — front page national news, Local, Sports, Dining, and Business — each containing a maximum of 8 pages (some only with 4) pales in comparison to an online counterpart. For example, a site like CNN.com may have up to 10 or 20 different sections or categories each containing HUNDREDS of pages of news content. The number of print periodicals needed to replicate that amount of volume would cost more per day than your monthly internet bill, and probably be the thickness and weight of an unabridged dictionary. Makes you really appreciate those websites now, doesn't it?
#3: The Absence of a Comment Section
Man, oh man, did I miss the comments section while reading the newspaper. Comment sections in news articles are a lightning rod for trolls who communicate exclusively via homophobic racism under the veil of internet anonymity. Maybe it's just the allure of Irish pub shit talking combined with instant, worldwide publication as to why so many people love to post there. These vaginal discharges are known for taking pot-shots at criminal suspects and their victims alike; calling into question the validity of the article writer's employment (and/or sexual orientation); turning a feel-good story about how a cat saved a family from a house fire into a forum for political bias (and/or the cat's sexual orientation); and then complaining in the same section when the site's admin deletes their comment - while simultaneously questioning the admin's sexual orientation. I've been known to skip entire articles and scroll straight to the comments section based solely on the article's title. Sometimes you know those misspelled conniptions are just going to be good. But hey, this is America where you can spout off any nonsensical remarks your tiny lizard brain can come up with.