Using the one and only BuzzFeed, I created a listicle on why “You Should Never Read BuzzFeed.” I know it’s a little ironic (given my choice of outlet), but I’ve been thinking now is an opportune time to voice these concerns amidst all this buzz surrounding what’s real news, who’s credible, who’s fake, etc.
Now, please forgive me if my post is a little poor in the quality department. This was my first foray into the BuzzFeed world as a Community User. I created an account and started down the path of the media producer. And I must admit to being a little disappointed with the back end, behind-the-scenes side of things on the Feed.
As someone who considers myself a true digital native and an active participant in the “always-on” lifestyle, I tend to be pretty good with technology. But let me tell you, BuzzFeed is not the most user-friendly. In fact, I would call it intimidating and cold… definitely not two words typically used to describe tech. And just not that aesthetically nice… Never a good thing in my book.
But I prevailed and continued along in my quest to create a BuzzFeed post. Because after all, I’m not just a media consumer.
After reading over my list a few times, I think I actually touch on a few of the key issues being discussed in regards to news media today. For one, who are the authors of the so-called News we read, and are they trustworthy sources? Hard to say, honestly. Because as I mention, anyone can become a contributor on BuzzFeed.
The site legitimately uses the word “anyone,” which I found quite troubling. Maybe I’m lame and hold myself to a higher standard than most when it comes to news consumption preferences, but anyone? C’mon!
Second, who decides the stories that are being written? More specifically, who decided that Andrea Hickey should be writing about the 9 Types of Underwear I definitely do not own? Jemima Skelley thinks she can accurately guess my middle name based on a quiz about food… who gave you any authority?
These people are BuzzFeed Staff Writers, and are getting paid to spew this nonsense at the masses. No wonder why Americans are having trouble with the concept of news these days. They’re getting informed by Jemima who wants “Taylor Swift to sue [her] so [she] can meet her.” 😂
Maybe I’m being a bit mean, or as E. Gabriella Coleman might say “trolly.” But you have to admit, this whole #FakeNews thing is getting to be a lot.
Flashback to the time people turned on CNN to find President Trump and VP Pence deplaning from what I presume to be Air Force 1. Rather than let them carry on with their business, the news channel wondered aloud if our President is afraid of stairs.
If the goal is to get clicks, if all these news companies are after is engagements from their audience, then is the content itself all that important? Maybe people truly are selling out.
Another question BuzzFeed had me asking myself is how do you get a well-rounded, bipartisan version of the news on a site where you have to click around from one story to the next? In other words, the choice is yours when it comes to picking what you consume. It’s not bundled in a little plastic bag and sitting on your doorstep, or even typed up in a single email and waiting in your inbox until you stir.
Nope, BuzzFeed is like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books. The stories, videos, and quizzes I go for could be totally unique from my friends.
As you can probably tell, my mind is going in a lot of different directions here. I’m intrigued by this self-defined news platform and the consumption methods of its users. Don’t expect these to be my last words on the matter! I’ll be back.
I’d like to end this by giving a shoutout to my new friends at BuzzFeed. Thank you for the warm welcome message given the nature of my post.