Yet another Buzzfeed stunt highlights the economy of time among Gen Y influencers, and the potentially catastrophic fallout facing modern journalism as a result:
It was not so long ago — oh, say, five, maybe six years — that traditional news organizations like this one could laugh at BuzzFeed’s gag along with everyone else, smugly secure. An exploding watermelon was just an exploding watermelon. These days, however, news articles — be they about war, voting rights, the arts or immigration policy — increasingly inhabit social media feeds like the frighteningly dominant one that Facebook runs. They are competing for attention against zany kitchen experiments; your friend’s daughter’s bat mitzvah; and that wild video of a train whipping through a ridiculously narrow alleyway in India.