In 2008, Dentyne gum launched an advertising campaign called Make Face Time. Under the words:
“Power down. Log off. Unplug.
Have mercy on your thumbs.
Browse the world wide something else.
Send some not-so-instant-messages.
Undo. Hit cancel. Be together.
Make face time.”
The campaign encourages internet users to allocate time to be with friends, face to face. It includes a television commercial, a series of print advertisements, and an interactive site (makefacetime.dentyne.ca) which can only be accessed for three minutes at a time.
This advertising campaign highlights the need to not forget the importance of social interaction that involves human contact. As Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social networking devices become more and more popular it is easy for people to become complacent. Why have coffee with a friend, an associate or a future business partner when it’s just as easy to send an email that takes at max 10 minutes. The internet is convenient and efficient. I know I’m definitely guilty of sending a text instead of taking the time to chat to a loved one. But as journalist, we cannot get lazy. We cannot be trapped behind our laptops and keyboards. How can the emotions of a person be evident in a story that the journalist merely copies and pastes from emailed questions? How can a journalist truly know the area, the subject and the issue when all their information comes from Google, Facebook and Twitter? While we cannot deny the significant impact social networking and the internet has had on news and they way we now receive and produce it, the journalist still needs to get out and experience the situation to truly report on the world we are living in.
This post titled Lazy Journalism and Lazy Reading from the blog Filipino Voices explains a situation where a theoretical exercise was taken as truth by the Inquirer, the Star and the ABC-CBN news in the Philipines. Instead of finding out the real story, which regarded an alleged receipt for a GMA New York dinner at Le Clique, these companies just used social networking sites to find the information. Had they had gone to the restaurant or had they called the GMA, they would have realised this receipt was theoretical not actually real. It was merely an experiment to see if it was possible to spend a certain amount of money. Despite time constraints and the need to constantly have new updated news, it is still unacceptable for news agencies to succumb to lazy journalism.
The following Youtube video is a satirical portrayal of the world of Twitter and adds to the need for face-to-face communication that is highlighted in the Dentyne gum campaign . Enjoy!