Monday, February 10, 2014

Get your pictures off my lawn!

Do I hear...children? On my lawn?
Photo by Shalf via flickr

Either I'm getting old (and sinking further into that dream pillow of curmudgeonry) or the world is losing its collective mind.

Look, I'm not a typical alarmist. When the retired teachers shake their heads and tsk tsk about the loss of cursive writing, I chuckle. You can't stop progress after all. The written word will continue...I guess. The kids will learn cursive out of necessity...that is, the ones who need it will learn it.

I thought I was hip and vibrant. Thought I was never going to be that old woman with forty cats eating cat food and grousing at the commies or what have you.

And frankly, after I didn't wake up to a complete wigging out of America's right wing over the Coca Cola ad during the Superbowl, I was beginning to think all was right with the world. (They did manage to let themselves get riled up finally, but it was, if you ask me, too little, too late.)

But today, I've decided the world is going to hell and there's nothing I can do to stop it--might as well start collecting cats.

What set me off this time, you ask? I'll tell you. It started with NBC.

NBCNews was my home page. Had been for as long as I can remember. I liked it. At the top was one big picture block with a rotation of pics about the big story of the day. And below that, my page was sectioned off into bits. A "look at these newsy videos" bit with thumbnails. Then bits its on world news, local news, sports, technology, and entertainment news with the titles of the stories linked to them. It was my home page. All mine.

Until I woke up the other morning and found my home page looked like Windows 8. That's right. Blocks. Picture blocks. Nothing but giant colorful preschool-ish pictures all over my main page. Not only is it ugly, it's unreadable--probably because there are so few words.

I was so upset I wrote them an email! That's right. I wrote them an email and told them I was taking my eyes elsewhere. It's been a few days and they haven't changed it back. They probably couldn't read my email because they've hired a bunch of four-year-olds.

I don't want to look at pictures. I want the news. I want it in lists of titles, not rows of pictures. And now I'm stuck with the cursive writing alarmists. We are being dumbed down America! We're being treated like four-year-olds who can't stand to read a page full of words; we need pictures! It boggles. And I don't like it.

Later that day, I clicked on a link to a blog about J.K. Rowling and why she's wrong about Ron and Hermione. Don't judge.

I could barely read it! Interspersed with the words are moving pictures. Pictures. Moving. Moving. Moving. My god, stop moving!

Do people these days have any attention span at all? Is it now not enough to have pictures every page, now we need flippy video clips every paragraph? Is anyone actually comprehending what they're reading?

I don't get it. I have a headache now. I'm getting old. The written word is disappearing and soon we're all just going to stop doing it altogether. And I'll just be one of those old farts sitting at my computer shaking my fist at the Tubes.

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