I’m still processing everything in this piece but it summarizes a lot of things I’ve been thinking about over the past couple years. An excerpt:
“A critic of literature examines a work, analyzing its features, evaluating its qualities, seeking a deeper appreciation that might be useful to other readers of the same text. In a similar way, critics of music, theater, and the arts have a valuable, well-established role, serving as a helpful bridge between artists and audiences. Criticism of technology, however, is not yet afforded the same glad welcome.”
While he admits his digital-media empire has had a difficult few months, Peretti sticks to his optimism about BuzzFeed’s model and its identity as a social-first media organization in an interview with CJR.
In recent months, the team has launched calendars to integrate into readers’ Google and Apple calendars to inform them of content produced by the paper. Later this year, it will launch a modified version of a text message experiment it ran during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Matthew J. X. Malady gave up his mobile phone, social media, etc. for three days. His experience doesn’t fit the typical detox trope, one which states that giving up our devices “frees” us and allows us to reconnect and see the world in new ways. It’s a trope I’ve been sympathetic towards in the past.
Mr. Malady’s main takeaway: Going without made him less curious. Writing for the New Yorker:
During the world’s longest weekend, it became clear to me that, when I’m using my phone or surfing the Internet, I am almost always learning something. I’m using Google to find out what types of plastic bottles are the worst for human health, or determining the home town of a certain actor, or looking up some N.B.A. player’s college stats. I’m trying to find out how many people work at Tesla, or getting the address for that brunch place, or checking out how in the world Sacramento came to be the capital of California.