Friday, October 17, 2014

"Trending News"

Facebook amuses away many of my hours. It keeps me in touch with friends, provides me with a source of news about local and world events, and allows me to keep up with what the internet is yelling about today.
One of my favorite sources of amusement recently has been the “Trending” news stories which facebook seems to think are important for me to see. Thankfully, this section comes with a feature that allows me to get rid of any headlines I like, and an option to say why I’m getting rid of that particular item. I’ve been trying to train it to only show me things I actually think are interesting.
Over the past month or so, I’ve convinced it that I don’t care about tennis, golf, major league baseball, or the NBA. Now it only shows me NFL news, and the very occasional international football (soccer) story. There are very few headlines in the world of music that I’m interested in, whether it’s about a feud between two hip hop artists or who has released a new album. And I’m usually not really super excited about technology news, because newly-unveiled items don’t often make it into my hands.
There are so many other interesting pieces of news that I would rather hear about. International conflicts, disease outbreaks, and national politics are things that should be news.
The one thing I haven’t been able to completely banish from my facebook trending news feed is the TMZ element. These sorts of stories fall into the “I know nothing and I care less” category. The only time I care about celebrities is when they may happen to be appearing in a movie or series that I’m interested in. But for some reason, I can’t get facebook to stop telling me about people whose personal lives it has no right to be butting in on. I don’t care who is having a baby, celebrating a commitment ceremony, or trying to get their child support payment lowered. Unless they want me to buy them a shower gift, invite me to their wedding, or babysit their kid, I don’t need to know about the inner workings of their lives, or even second-hand rumored stories about the inner workings of their lives.
I enjoy reading the headlines of the day, as long as they’re actually important or interesting enough to me to spend my time on, like things that actually have an impact on the world. And just so you know, facebook, a news story titled “Actress X adopts kitten with boyfriend” will never have an impact on the world.

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