Digital media sucks. No, seriously. At the risk of sounding a bit too much like a blowhard complaining about “kids these days” let me double down: digital media doesn’t just suck, it sucks a lot. Facebook was cool in 2009. Instagram may have been cool before Zuckersucksberg took it over. MySpace no longer matters. Twitter is for the birds, and apparently Presidents. Oh, and some of your opinions, or my opinions, or everyone’s opinions may, or may not have been influenced by some Russians 2016. In a relatively short timeframe we as a society went from parroting cautions about not believing everything we read on the internet, to seeming disbelief that foreign agents might have been able to influence the outcome of an election, under our noses while we were checking our Facebook...
We spend our time glued to digital media. It is a constant. A constant supported by multiple industries, and easily reaches across party lines. A few years ago I sat down with a friend of mine who works in the film and acting world, we were discussing a few of the media companies in the hunting world who I think have proven to produce Content Other Than Shit (COTS). In that conversation this friend and I also talked about my somewhat stagnant career as a musician and how in today’s market, content and a steady stream of it are absolute musts in order to achieve success, quality be damned. The problem with all of this? An over saturation of both information and entertainment combined with an unhealthy use of, or addiction to, technology and social media.
Let’s break that down -
Over saturation: Why in the hell would MORE information and entertainment be a problem? Well, how much of that information have you throughly vetted? Is it factual? Do you or the presenter of said information have biases that might cloud your vision? What if someone disagrees with your take? How vigorously do you truly examine and consider an opposing argument? What about entertainment? Do you find the entertainment you consume to be edifying or mind numbing? How much time during the week do you feel is wasted scrolling through post after post? I know for myself that I have to follow multiple sources of news and information, all of which must be consumed and digested before I feel that I can claim to have an informed opinion on a topic. But that takes a lot of time, time a lot of folks aren’t willing to put in, and time a lot of folks simply cannot put in. I know I am not the first person to speculate this, but my opinion is that in this technological revolution we have been navigating, we have more information than we have ever had, with much less understanding, and perhaps even less wisdom, than at any other time in our species’ history.
Addiction to media: Ever walking down the street sure your phone is vibrating in your pocket when it isn’t? How many times a day do you check to see if you got a text, or notification from Facebook? What do you do in the morning? In all likelihood, over coffee, breakfast, whatever, you grab your phone, check your email and social media accounts. I find myself trying at times to abstain from this cycle and then falling back to the same traps a few short weeks later. Hell, some people have switched back to using flip phones instead of smart phones for this exact reason. A good friend of mine who is finishing up with a PhD program quit social media for the last few years so that it wouldn’t be a distraction during school. Perhaps this is all as innocent as our parents and grandparents reading the newspaper, or perhaps our brains respond differently to our phones, iPads and computers. Don’t believe me? Check out what this guy has to say about it.
What does this have to do with Taking Game Journal? In a society with around 5% of the population participating in hunting, I would submit that we as hunters are part of a movement that is actually quite counter-culture in nature, despite it being a market that already has a variety of mainstream print and production media. When I started Taking Game Journal in 2015, I will admit that my vision for it was a bit foggy. I just knew that I wanted to have a platform where I could write about hunting. This lack of vision has evolved a bit, and going back to some of my music/punk rock roots, I have decided to transition Taking Game Journal away from just being a blog. Look for more details a little later this summer, and thanks for following and reading!