If I were to ask you the question, "What is more important: Getting something right or getting it done quickly?" how would you answer?
Most people I believe would say it is better to do something right the first time then to have to do it over again and again. This makes sense to me.
Sadly this is not the way the media works. But I am not here to blame the media for their mistakes, most recently during the coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombings. Yes, they are at fault too, but if it wasn't for us and our "gimmie gimmie gimmie now" attitudes maybe they wouldn't be rushing to get us stories and website like the one below where CNN is reporting conflicting stories on their own web site:
While cell phones, Google and the internet certainly have changed our lives for the better in many ways, they have also made us into a society in which no one wants to wait for anything. If we don't find the answer we are looking for then we will move along to someone who can give it to us, even if it is wrong.
CNN, FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC were among those providing live coverage of the Boston events as they unfolded over the course last week and it is fair to say that not a one of them got it completely right 100% of the time. And to be honest, no one expects them to. But in a rush to be first and out in front of the competition, more networks and reporters got it wrong then got it right (or to be more fair, they jumped too quickly to sources they wanted to believe to be true instead of confirming they were indeed correct).
So who is at fault? Yes, the networks did provide the information, but are they only giving us the service we are demanding, even if that service is wrong? Or is it our fault as consumers of the media, our fault for being unable or unwilling to wait for an answer to anything anymore?
In this case, I think there is enough blame to go around for everyone involved, both the providers and the viewers.
Do me a favor: The next time you don't get an answer right away, the next time someone tells you it will be a minute, the next time you feel a red hot rage building inside of you because things are going your way right away, just pause for a minute. Take a look around and realize that we have got it really good and that life does not need to move at the speed of sound for us to be truly happy.
And remember, generations have come and gone before us and they all made it without the help of Google, cell phones or the need to know everything instantaneously.
Chris Thomas is a full-time teacher, part-time freelance writing, father of three, and most importantly, a very, very tired man.
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