The Dangers of Internet News

In the past ten years, there has been a flood of Internet news. No doubt, the Internet news revolution has been healthy to democracy. At the same time, Internet news has had a deleterious effect on a social and individual level. On a social level, Internet news has allowed users to search only for those sources that reinforce her viewpoint. On an individual level, Internet news has promoted distraction. These factors should not spell a reversal of Internet news, but hopefully a moderation on the part of the consumer.

There is no doubt that online news has been a net positive for society. Millions of individuals can now express their views via blogs, and breaking blogger news has promoted robust citizen journalism. Publications like the Drudge Report and Huffington Post would not exist if it were not for online news.

At the same time, online news has negative consequences. For one, online news promotes partisanship. With so many choices, it is easy for consumers to feel overwhelmed with blogger info. Many turn to those that are blogging news relevant to their viewpoints. For instance, a leftist may be inclined to read only Andrew Sullivan or Amy Goodman, while a right winger may read only Matthew Drudge or the late Andrew Breibart.

Perhaps a more disastrous consequence of Internet news is that it destroys mindfulness. As we are distracted by a stream of online news, we forget the present and what is in front of us. We forgo tasks we can easily complete, and instead divide our attention between our task and news that is ultimately irrelevant.

Of course, censoring Internet news is extremely silly at best, and dangerous at worst. The best we can do to improve our quality of Internet news is to become aware of what it is doing for us. This may lessen consumption, it is true, but it could ultimately lead us to more enlightened reading of the news. Get more info here.

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