Why do we still need magazines in this day and age of unfettered access to unlimited content?
Mr. Magazine asks – and sagely answers – that question in his post on the dark side of social media.
Spend any time at all online and you’ll be buffeted by opinions, ideas, views and documentation masquerading as news. Yet for the most part it’s one-side, highly biased, often inflammatory and exits for the primary purpose of getting attention, not sharing truths or solving problems.
We are daily exposed to content that many of us would never actively seek out, Mr. Magazine notes, referencing horrific world events and disturbing personal actions.
“It seems to me that there is a dark, dark side of social media that cloaks itself in the light-hearted and convenient banter that we are able to join with just the touch of our fingertips,” he writes. “Yet, a lot of the time, the easy accessibility and casual connections cause people to find a mirror image of that darkness within their own psyches, especially when there are no repercussions to speak of.
“And I know the critics are going to say it’s like the old days with television; you don’t like what you’re watching, you can turn it off. You don’t like what you’re reading or seeing on social media, turn it off or better yet, stay off of those sites and delete those apps. Yes, you can do that, but that just allows the ‘anything goes’ mentality to continue without any liability or obligation from the sites themselves to justify their shocking content.”
“And that just ups the selling points for magazines as far as I’m concerned, especially with this global movement of positive publications that are coming into the marketplace such as ‘Remarkable’ from the Netherlands that just arrived in the United States. It’s a magazine about people doing more remarkable things and less harmful things during their lifespan. Or magazines like ‘Executive Life’ from Lebanon, which is more of a cause and more about the good things in life, or ‘The Escapist’ that comes from Monocle magazine, which is devoted to enjoying life, traveling and seeing the bright side of things.”
Far from throwing up his hands at the state of social media, Mr. Magazine notes that we all have a social responsibility to tend to our corner of things, noting that we are “all adding to or subtracting from the black vortex.”
“Weeding out the things that are taking over the garden is the only way to keep it healthy and growing so we get the best of the crop,” he notes.
“That’s why we will always have magazines and why we will always have that documented, curated, edited permanent print that we will continue to proudly display on our desks, coffee tables, night stands and/or take to the beach without ever being surprised by anything less than the great content and the great experience that flows from the content.”
We couldn’t agree more. (The entire piece is well worth the read; please do.)