The Good Old Days……

I am a senior citizen so I guess it expected of me to occasionally talk about the good old days. Generally I believe that most things in life continue to get better as time goes by so the “good old days” are not really that good after all at least to me. But there are some things that take a hit as a result of change.

I don’t think there is anyone that doesn’t admit how much the internet has changed their lives and most of it for the better. We can now get almost any info we desire in just a few keypad clicks. Wikipedia and other such on-line sources can help us investigate just about anything we desire. Instead of taking weeks of library searches most information is now just a few clicks away. Where there was once only a hand full of sources for our information there are now millions. Of course everything is NOT created equal on the Internet and we must always be aware of that fact.

But one of the negative things about this proliferation of information is that everyone can now spend hours and hours reinforcing their current world view and therefore never be exposed to things outside that oftentimes tunnel vision. Many Republicans will limit their source of news to Fox News while their Democratic neighbors will watch only MSNBC. They never peer outside those sources so their current views about the topics at hand seldom change.

It used to be in the good old days that it was difficult to determine just what the position was of most news sources.  I can still remember the shock that went through the media when Charles Brinkley made an “open mic” negative comment about President Clinton early in his first term. People were shocked that a news person showed bias.  Those days while being only a couple of decades ago seem like centuries in the media world now.

About the only news org that even attempts to remain neutral seems to be the PBS News Hour but I’m sure the radical right has a different opinion even about them. They are convinced that there is some great conspiracy theory going on everywhere but at Fox News. They think the folks at Fox are the only unbiased ones 😉 .

So, here I am an old timers looking back at the “good old days” and reminiscing about how much better they were. I guess I am not much different from “Unk Shields” of my childhood days. He would sit on a bench in front of the Pure Oil gas station where I had my first part-time job and talk continuously about the good old days.  The gas stations in my town no longer have a sitting  bench out front so I go on the Internet and sit on my virtual bench here and talk about the  good old days….

6 comments

  1. PBS Newhour and BBC World news. All news is bias– HOW bias is the key. We no longer get the local newspaper since they basically copy the Huffington Post….Maybe we should go back to “all politics is local” and vote about what we actually see?

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  2. I agree that we are in an age of information overload. But, I prefer that to the old days when we relied on just one or two newspapers, magazines, or new programs. The internet has empowered people (maybe too many people?) to make themselves heard and pose questions we may not have considered on our own. I am a far better informed voter and citizen then I was 30 or 40 years ago. Yes, all news is biased…how can it not be? But as long as there is room in the arena for all sides we can listen, learn, and come to our own informed decisions. I don’t wish to keep hearing only what I “want” to hear.
    Challenge is stimulating.

    P.S. I love the image of a bunch of guys sitting on a virtual bench chewing the fat. Reminds me of my Grandpa…stting in front of the pool room in his small town years ago:)

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    • Jane, I agree in the too much is better than too little. We can pick an choose what we want but must all strive to strike a balance in what we hear. But I fear that too many stick to one side of the ditch and never really see the middle of the road.
      Yeah, Unc(le) Shields comes to mind frequently. He would show up at about 9:30am and was always there till about 3pm or so. He even frequently brought his lunch. (ha)

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  3. We likewise get the majority of our intelligent discussion on current news topics from PBS, specifically Washington Week in Review. Otherwise, I will frequently go back and forth between Fox and CNN, presuming that somewhere in the middle lies the unbiased facts. I loathe a number of anchors on both stations, avoiding them at all costs, but there are a couple on each I find fairly moderate and can tolerate for more than a few minutes.

    And I wholeheartedly agree that “the good ole’ days” is simply a fallacy. The biggest difference today is the unrelenting exposure to what is going on via the internet and social media. I make a point to disconnect on a regular basis to maintain my sanity.

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