A friend asked me the other day how I was scratching my media itch, having made the jump to agency land.
I was somewhat surprised to realise I just didn’t care anymore. Which is kinda surprising, given that I’ve been doing media since I was in highschool, writing for the local newspaper. Most of my adult life has been about media and journalism – Indymedia, EngageMedia, New Matilda, social media and journalism research at uni.
I think a couple of things have caused this:
I recently had to deal with the fallout of not publicly commenting on a legal battle that two people that I knew were involved in. I lost two friends over this, and in part this caused me reconsider a job offer as a tech journalist.
About the same time, New Matilda, where I’d occasionally had articles published, shut down. I was sad, and disappointed, and I realised I didn’t want to try and build a relationship with a new publication.
I have also recently gotten incredibly tired of the constant policing and snark on Twitter. I know this was partially because of the people I follow(ed), but I don’t know how many times people can send snarky tweets to politicians about Twitter being a conversational medium before they twig that people use Twitter in different ways, and that’s ok. Similarly, after some of my friends called for Nick Carr to be strung up for suggesting a different way of laying out articles, I was thoroughly put off. Ditto for the constant snark and pettiness.
I’ve also reconsidered whether I want to re-engage with academia. As a friend who I’ve written papers with pointed out, taking up a career in agency-land doing UX / business analysis seems to preclude following the academic path, and at least for now, I’m inclined to agree.
The last straw, ultimately, was an academic I respected, and considered a friend, calling me retarded for expressing some of my feelings and doubts about cultural studies and some of its utopian elements.
Ultimately, I think I’ve reached a point where I can let go. Cultural studies will do its thing with or without me. Journalism will be what it is with or without me. Politics will go on. Anyone who is genuinely interested in what I think can always ask me, and hopefully won’t call me retarded if they disagree.
Maybe this is a transitional thing. I’m not saying I’m never going to write again – I enjoy writing. But for now, I’m happy to leave it.