The term ‘smartphone’ may be a tad misleading according to the recently published New York Times article, “Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime”. This is to say that frequent use of digital media can disrupt your brain’s downtime - a necessary component of internalizing information. Without this downtime, the brain has no chance to process information previously learned, resulting in cluttered, inattentive minds.
Chances are there are more than a few of you reading this article while accomplishing some cardio riding your local gym’s indoor bike, or while in class when you really should be listening to your professor’s first lecture of the semester (but don’t stop reading now on account of that!). While having a digital device handy is excellent for spicing up mundane moments, or for capturing your mind away from the tedium of exercising, it does come at a price.
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I’m a pretty crappy journalist.
I do it in my free time, and for the most part, I’m an opinions and hands-on writer. I don’t go monstering around the nation’s capital with a fedora and notepad, and I rarely find myself in a position where I have to probe into anything that matters past an arbitrary release date. I don’t always fact check if I’m not making accusations.
But I know a scummy move when I see one. And Gizmodo’s actions in the iPhone HD prototype debacle have been consistently unethical, unprofessional, and, yes, illegal.
It sucks. Gizmodo’s parent company, Gawker Media, is home to a lot of great blogs and great people – people who seem to have some professional standards. But in the face of such reprehensible journalism, Gizmodo has been inexplicably wearing their tarnished reputation from this saga as if it were some kind of badge of pride. I’m sure they have lawyers going over every step of their story, but how someone in their legal or PR departments could have greenlit this is really beyond my comprehension.
Before I get into the ethical issues of yellow journalism, I think it’s important we establish a fact pattern and what I hold to be the optimal course of actions they could have taken through this whole sordid affair. Join me while I use my rudimentary Google-fu to make my case against the actions of nearly all parties involved.