The Storytellers

It’s the story tellers. Those who land in the ilk of Nikki Gemmell, Eden Riley, David Sedaris and Jon Ronsen; the writers who sit you down with a beginning, purr at your shoulder in the middle, and have you quietly lost in thought long after the end. The entire piece too clever to quote over an appetiser, words so beautifully told their arrangements survive and flourish in a second and third helping. A snippet will return at the traffic light, the supermarket checkout, or while waiting for a friend for coffee.

It’s the story tellers who have me clicking, searching, waiting for a fresh off the press Saturday’s edition to be savoured over coffee. “Have you read Nikki yet?” my girlfriend Cath will text mid morning “it’s a goody, you’ll love it.”

I have bloggers who scratch the same itch, light relief from the comics, pretty pictures from homes in the country, and tales of depression and addiction which offer me a glimpse into the lives of others. These new media maidens came to me in a flurry of social media shares.  Their html became a place of refuge and solidarity, there have been many giggles, many me too moments, bonds within the blogosphere.

Unfortunately somewhere in amongst it, as my online reading grew, churnalism made its way into my feed.  A pile of listless, done before conversations of which came first, the Mummy or the gun? No quotes to be found, no new information, just clickbait disguised as women’s issues. Another headline, another twitch of anger, common sense provided the option not to read but blindness appeared to be the only option to not see it.

Over the weekend an article appeared, written just for me and my online woe. A tale of what can happen if you encourage the rot. It was time to not only unlike, unfollow and delete, I was going to digitally declutter. And oh it felt good. Like stray lids of tupperware containers I began to clean out the cupboards of my news feed. As I pushed the arrow at the top of each article “I don’t want to see this” Facebook enquired about my options offering me the joy of reply with a simple “it’s annoying.”

When it was all gone I went and found the people I’d been missing. Friends whose updates had somehow disappeared, news from organisations which employ journalists who investigate stories. The people who originally found baby Gammy (ABC) and delivered the news before the world offered its opinion.  I clicked on story after story to send the message clearly – I want more of this.

By the end of the day my newsfeed had stopped screaming at me. SBS informed me, ABC updated me, and I was blissfully unaware of the mind numbing chatter.  And now that I’m clean I proceed with caution. News and stories, I like the storytellers.

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