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Five Media Things: CrootinSZN and Wrestling With Our Devices

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Another week is in the books, which means we’re seven days closer to fall football. But before Gundy flops his mullet all over the Sherman Smith Training Center during fall camp, we have some postseasons to attend to and some recruiting to focus on. Let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week.

What I’m Excited About

It’s officially #CrootinSZN and Kyle Boone’s time to shine. With multiple commitments from football and basketball players over the past few weeks, we’ve been hitting interviews, breaking down film (well, I haven’t) and trying to figure out how certain guys slot into future depth charts.

All of those things are both 1. A reminder of how quickly all of this passes by (doesn’t it feel like Mason Rudolph was a freshman two weeks ago?) and 2. Incredibly fun and hopeful for the future. At the end of the day, those are two pretty good words to describe sports: fun, hopeful. Despite the unlikely nature of such a thing happening you always could land Dax Hill or you could grab a top-10 hoops recruit for 2019. That’s what coaches, and probably ultimately sites like this one, are selling.

As always, you can take a look at the full OSU calendar here.

A Media Thing I Think I Believe

I have a very love-hate relationship with the following statement: We are addicted to our devices. I believe it to be true. I also believe it to be a little too sexy and mainstream, as if this is a thing I should say or think because everyone else says or thinks it. And finally (and this is the part I wrestle with), I also believe our addiction to our devices, at least in part, benefits this blog and thus my business.

This topic is something I talk about my friends who work in the media a lot. Are we just feeding the addiction? Is this, ethically, a space we even want to fill up? Where is the moral high ground? 

Regardless of the answers to any of these thoughts (and I don’t know that there are any good ones), I’m glad that the power players are asking good (ok, better) questions.

Google, like much of Silicon Valley, is awakening to a new movement. Technology’s advances used to receive unadulterated exaltation; these days, the promises have gone sour, the optimism dried up. Our devices have never been more powerful, and people have never been so desperate to escape them through “digital detoxes” and “dumb phones.”Unplugging is the rallying call of our time. Turn off, tune out, drop out. [Wired]

The place I’ve landed in May 2018 (*reserves right to change stance at any time moving forward*) is this: I don’t really think completely ejecting from the device world is the answer. Devices are like money. They are amoral. Neither inherently good nor bad. As that Wired article noted, any attempt by technology companies to curtail device usage is probably treating the symptoms and not the root problem. Our devices become whatever you allow them to become. The difficult part, for me anyway, is that because they’re constructed the way they are (with our addiction in mind as people build them and the apps they hold), it’s extremely difficult to use them in the proper way.

An extension of this debate is the productivity-riddled society in which we exist. It sounds completely preposterous to say out loud, but it’s sometimes difficult for me (and I suspect for many of you) to value people over lists. To value friendship over getting things done. To value souls over productivity. I was incredibly convicted of that this week when I read this.

One thing I’ve been trying to do over the past few months that has helped with all of this is to take a sabbath. One day a week where I don’t work. I don’t interact with electronics. I don’t write. I don’t get in Slack. I don’t tweet. I sit and read or play with the kids or play golf. It has been refreshing and recharging and has reminded me that, as with most things, there’s a middle ground to be had here but that existing in that space is probably the hardest place to be.

So while I’m not encouraging you to buy a RAZR and get all your OSU news from a print copy of the Oklahoman, I am encouraging you to be mindful of the way you consume #content on your phone. I’ve started to try and do so in a more healthy manner, and I’ve felt the effects of that on my body and my mind. Burnout is real. Addiction is real. Overstimulation is real. We were not made to be a constant input machine but rather to take inputs and healthily turn them into productive and beneficial outputs for the good of others.

*rant over*

What I’m Reading

I’m still in the middle of Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Stephen King’s A Memoir of the Craft. Both remain good for very different reasons so far. I’m still wandering a bit in trying to find a really good next book. I’m open to any recommendations you guys have.

Contribution And Site Updates

We are at 317 contributors. That’s -1 from last week.

Site Growth

Pageviews through May 13, 2018: 4.7M
Pageviews through May 13, 2017: 5.3M
Most popular post of May 2018: Mason Rudolph responds to Big Ben
Most popular post of May 2017: Baker trolls OSU, says OU owns B12
Most popular post of 2018: Spencer out as DC

Website Refresh Update

No new updates on this front, although May will be a big month for progress as we hope to reveal the new site soon.