...I care so little about the royal baby, I wrote a whole article about it
In Sunday's edition of The News-Item, we published 13 births. Any one of those little bundles of joy could very well grow up to change the world. There could be a Mother Teresa in there or a Nikola Tesla; any one of them could impact life as we know it in ways we could have never imagined. Be it a great world leader, a philanthropist, a pope or a Beyonce, everyone starts as a baby, but only few have entered into this world as a "royal babies."
And listen, I get it. I get how saturated these stories become; they are very hard to escape, so I can see how people become absorbed in the hoopla.
Kate Middleton has really nice hair; I sometimes get caught up in that. It always looks as though she has a wind machine pointed at her or something. It's healthy and flowing and I'm all, "Why can't my hair look like that on a regular basis?"
Sometimes I stand in front of my $15 fan in my bedroom and peek at the mirror and, nope - just Jenna from Shamokin, standing like a nutbag in front of her fan. Then my eyes start to water from it blowing on me, I have to fix my makeup and I'm reminded I'm just me, and that's OK. I need that reality check sometimes when I start to feel inadequate compared to princesses and air-brushed celebrities, etc.
Scrutiny or support
I just have a hard time getting onboard with this birth.
When it comes to high-profile world events, you have two basic groups of people: those who care and those who do not care. Who adds more fuel to the fire? I'm not really sure. Just by writing this column, I'm dumping some gasoline on it. I'm aware of that.
Aside from those who give absolutely zero flips about one of these stories so much they just keep their mouths and Facebook statuses shut, we all fuel the media machine.
"Media this" and "media that" me all you want, we, as journalists, social networkers, bloggers, water cooler gossipers, those who boast their outright disgust for overexposure - all of us who fall into those categories - are just as bad as those glued to the television eating up every little detail of stories that have absolutely zero to do with their lives in feeding the machine.
We are all the media.
You, me and even Geraldo Rivera. Hate to break it you.
Don't fight me on this one.
A vast majority of people get their information through the grapevine of Facebook or gossip far sooner than they do from actual news outlets (which is something that is kind of hard to define in this day and age; there is so much bias out there.) and many times they aren't fact-checking sources before they spread it like wildfire. I see the comments on some of our Facebook posts. "This is old news." "Who cares, I knew about this two hours ago." Please excuse us while we check official sources and try to get facts and details before we put something out there that is inaccurate.
Whoa. What? Wait just a minute!
Before you start, stop. Now, now. Stop laughing and rolling your eyes. I know it happens. We aren't perfect. Sources can be inaccurate. We, as human beings and not machines, can make mistakes; we recognize that, but there is a process and we make a concerted effort to satisfy our readers and create a quality product. If you work and care about your job, you understand this.
Wow. How did we get here?
Back to this royal baby.
Unless you fall under the category of those who care so little, they weren't even aware it was happening, you saw the circus. Short of a live cervix-cam, I don't think the world could have been any more up any one woman's uterus than it was in the unfolding of this event.
People were camped out, waiting to get the first glimpse at this imperial infant. One reporter summed up the 11 hours he spent outside Buckingham Palace awaiting further details on the story as "one big, sweaty, rowdy mess."
The following is a full list of things I would camp outside for hours to experience:
1. Actual camping.
Story-hungry masses waited for days, hours, outside St. Mary's hospital in London like it was going to release blue or pink smoke from it's rooftop to announce the gender.
Now, little what's-his-name is here. As of right now, I don't believe they announced a name*, although a very authentic-looking photo I saw online depicted an easel outside Buckingham Palace declaring his name "Dave." Which I think is a great name. I mean, I know one or two Daves that are total toolbags, but for the most part, I can name at least five awesome guys I know named Dave and they are nothing short of regal in their actions and behavior.
Anyway, I saw the little ham even gave a tiny wave to the crowd in his first appearance, which is admittedly, even from someone who cares so little about the story she wrote an article about it, kind of adorable.
Our own royal baby
In contrast, on Tuesday, WNEP meteorologist Joe Snedeker approached Shamokin while a large crowd of supporters waited in anticipation. The ride is part of the 16th annual Go Joe benefit bike ride for Saint Joseph's Center in Scranton.
I was in a mood Tuesday and had a low tolerance for really anything, so I joked on Facebook that "The arrival of Joe Snedeker is apparently Shamokin's royal baby."
In all honesty, despite my remark, although I wasn't there, I fully respect and support the ride and I think it's great Shamokin gave him a warm welcome and made the TV news for something positive. It was nice to see all of your smiling faces in the WNEP footage.
Make it count
My point is, I feel as though we place too much emphasis and focus on things that really don't make a difference in our immediate lives - like Amanda Bynes lighting someone's driveway on fire. Explain to me how that will affect my week?
Life is short and time is precious. Just as we choose our battles, we should carefully choose those things which we let ourselves get engrossed with. Support things for good causes, stand by those who need support and, if you have genuine interest in a story, follow it. Just don't waste too much time being consumed by it, because no one has invented a way to get that back yet. Maybe one of those 13 little ones who were announced Sunday can work on that when they grow up.
(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)
*His Royal Highness has now officially been named Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.