TLDR: Doesn’t much of tech journalism promote tech consumerism and waste? Should we care? Should it change?
I think the TLDR get’s the point across pretty much, but just to explain where I am coming from:
H1 - Everyone may be getting a bit tired of reporting the gradual advances in tech as the second coming.
A couple of weeks ago, we were discussing Jeff in another thread. There,@sawgrass mentioned something insightful at C’mon Jeff - a little objectivity would be nice :
I hope to be allowed to borrow his thought and would like to extend it to the fatiguing discussion of phones, laptops, smart light-bulbs, watches, etc. Stuff that has been there and now gradually evolves. A new phone with many megapixels, a new iPhone, the new roti grill, rinse and repeat. I believe that Leo also mentioned that a few times (“Do you still care?” if I remember correctly) - I believe on his call-in show. Surely we all have as much phones, laptops, and smart stuff as we’d like. However, the reporting on gradually new stuff has become so obsessive that even the journalistic and not-paid-for stuff borders on advertising of an increasingly harder to sell offer: tech. The market is saturated. A bending screen is not going to help that. Journalism appears in caught between a rock (many having positioning on product reviews) and a hard place (products becoming less and less worthy of reporting and more and more in need of attention). Nowadays, it’s just as fashionable to make many videos ranting about tech giants not bringing out enough great innovations - but all of it is geared towards making people buy more (even though often that is disguised as “making people buy smarter”).
H2 - The market saturation of tech nudges journalism towards advertising.
In an interesting instance of very open reflection, one of the leading tech reviewers, Linus Sebastian of Linus’ Tech Tips, posted a candid and noteworthy reflection that came to him in context of his channel reaching 10 million subscribers. After a pretty intense reflection on a specific anecdote, he got into reflecting about whether the review-oriented share of tech journalism - which he counts himself to - makes much sense. I’ve forwarded for your convenience: https://youtu.be/hAsZCTL__lo?t=1262 . Of course, his perspective is also shaped by being a young dad and thus possibly having a more pronounced streak towards the responsible. However, he is also a tech journalist and more or less explains that his professional work (however interesting, useful, successful, entertaining, etc. that may be) is at odds with his personally held beliefs of having less that lasts more and being very critical of a waste-promoting society. His work being at odds with his beliefs was interestingly palpable - just as his open and appropriate conclusion of “I don’t have a solution to it - I love tech and I want to make videos about tech.” Just to be sure this is understood correctly: this is not to point a finger, but to applaud the reflection.
Most certainly, you might simply recommend: if you’re not interested, don’t watch it. I suppose you are right and I wonder why I keep at it. Tech journalism has been such an interesting and enterprising field of reporting in the (albeit more consumerist) media, that there have been many interesting formats, perspectives, and ideas coming from there. TWiT is a a good example: the integration of several media channels and own social media is pretty well done. Tech people tend to know best how to work with tech I suppose. I’d like to continue to follow their talent, buy shows, etc., but would love to see it applied to more stuff other than “that’s the new bendy phone” (throw out the old) or “this rotisserie is excellent” (throw out the old). Of course, I am in no position to ask for a change there (and this is not a change I’d ask of TWiT first an foremost - there is plenty social and political discussion here, often it’s even criticised for being to political), I am merely reflecting on a trend that might be emerging.
Do you agree with the premises? What did I miss?
How do you see tech reporting changing?
Is there a problem here or not?