Readin, Riten, Rithmatik, and Guzzlin

November 8, 2013

I read “America’s Media Guzzling Ways.” Good word “guzzling” or “guzzlin” as it is pronounced in rural Kentucky. The write up contained a factoid that I find difficult to grasp; to wit:

The amount of media data, measured in printed text, that Americans consumed last year. That’s 6.9 zettabytes—6.9 million-million gigabytes—to be exact.

Let’s assume that the figure is dead accurate or a couple of zettabytes, plus or minus. According the article, each person in the US spends 15 hours a day checking Facebook, watching videos, and tapping screens.

My reaction is that the consumption of media contributes to these observed events yesterday:

  1. A sponsored event at a trade show was attended by about 15 people. None of those at the hoe down were employees of the company. I suppose the guzzling of digital content was more important than showing up and pretending to be thrilled that potential customers were eating free snacks and drinking no name beverages. YouTube cannot wait, people.
  2. A conference program that did not include information about one of the speakers. Heck, it was an oversight even thought that speaker was paid to attend, received a free hotel room, and a free registration. Facebook posts take priority with this outfit I surmise.
  3. A sign at the National Press Club that contained a misspelling. It is the spelling checker’s fault was one explanation. SMS spelling is the way to go. LOL
  4. Asking for directions from a bus driver elicited this statement when I asked, “Where is 999 9th Street, NW.” The professional driver replied, “Dude, my iPhone is not connecting. Ask someone else.” The bus driver did not meet my gaze. He was frantically scanning the street for a mobile phone shop.

The article helps me understand why information presented on a mobile device is perceived as accurate, complete, and current. The grazing public has neither the time nor the grit to do much reading, writing, or arithmetic I fear. Oh, as the National Press Club sign maker would have it: Readin, writin, rithmetic, and guzzlin.

One person looked for Cuba Libre Restaurant using Google Maps. No joy. The system displayed four choices, none of which was the desired restaurant. The smart system made it impossible for the iPhone user to locate the destination. Fascinatin’.

Stephen E Arnold, November 8, 2013


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