Digital Media Comes At One Speed -- Fast -- But Consumers Want Some News To Slow Down
Social media got big credit for helping fuel big changes in Egypt -- as well as starting up similar rumblings in Algeria, Bahrain and other places. It's only been a couple of weeks and political goings-on in the Mideast are moving at top speed -- perhaps the fastest ever for events of this type.
But there are other media events where consumers actually want the news cycle to slow down -- if not stop entirely for a period. The recent Grammy Awards were another in a string of events where fans looked for a more languid approach.
Prior to CBS' time-delayed West Coast Grammy telecast, viewers in that time zone went into a huff when their twittering East Coast friends told them such news as Esperanza Spalding beating out Justin Bieber for the highly prized new artist award.
Faster news or slower news? You pick your state of reality. I know plenty of people who only watch sports events on a "tape" delay basis -- just so they can blow through the commercials on their DVRs. For the most part, sports and entertainment news comes with its own set of time guidelines. Still the increase in news reports with the cautionary "spoiler alert" tag is getting out of hand.
A couple of years ago I left a phone message for my aunt -- a long suffering New York Giants fan - with celebratory talk about the team's Super Bowl victory. Quickly I received a phone call from my uncle telling me she was out for the evening and had taped the game. Not just any game, mind you!
Fans of "The Office" or "Smallville" or "The Mentalist" may have their own precautionary tales of when news should be released about season-ending episodes.
We are in a media time warp of reality. Speed is demanded on one hand; and radio silence on the other. One possible solution probably won't help: put social media on a TV-like time delay.