Our View…Macaroni and cheese, anyone?This week, a startup technology company announced it was launching an app for users of certain technology that will allow readers to customize the news they read online.
This week, a startup technology company announced it was launching an app for users of certain technology that will allow readers to customize the news they read online. The company claims it can build a personalized newspaper for each individual user by utilizing your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. The site allows you to set up your own parameters for news coverage and it also pulls data from your interactions and social media friends to determine what type of news you most want to read about. Then, it apparently serves it up to you on a silver platter.
For some this might seem like a revolutionary time saver.
After all, why wade through all that state and national news if you just want to know what happened at last night’s Cloquet City Council meeting?
Why page through all those crime stories and court reports when you just want to find out whether the Esko girls basketball team won or lost?
Why navigate through the entire website simply to get to this week’s obituaries?
Wouldn’t it be nice to just shoot straight through to your favorite news, sports or public notices without having to look at all that other “stuff”?
Well, consider this. Have you ever told your kids that it’s completely OK if the only thing they want to eat all the time is macaroni and cheese? Probably not. In fact, you probably said something about how they won’t get all the nutrients they need if macaroni and cheese is the only thing they eat. Likely, you also threw in something about the value of having variety in their diet, and the fact that they’d be missing out on a lot of other really good things if they didn’t even give them a try. Or maybe you simply pointed out that they were likely to get sick and tired of eating the same thing day after day or become a boring person if they never try anything new.
The same thing can be said about reading the news. It’s true that we all have our favorite parts of the newspaper or website that we go back to time after time, but in the process of paging or scrolling through in order to get there, something else along the way just might catch our eye – and often does.
By exposing ourselves to all of the news and not just dwelling on what’s comfortable and familiar (the “macaroni and cheese” syndrome), we allow ourselves to grow, broaden our knowledge and interests and keep up to date with what’s happening in our community and the world.
There is, after all, a reason we call it “news.”