Sometimes being a journalism student means knowing more than you want to.
My field of study requires that I’m constantly plugged in. We’re taught the value and importance of always being connected to news sources. This means my Google reader is the first website I check in the morning. This means CP24 is on in the background while I eat my toast. This means I’m grabbing a minimum of two newspapers to read on my TTC commute. It’s even taken over my formerly favourite space to express my dumbest and most fleeting attempts at wit, twitter.
I was never big into twitter. I used it to read the 140 character isms by my favourite comedians. The rare post I made was usually thought up after 2:00 AM, most often in reference to the show I was currently watching or the grilled cheese I had eaten.
Enter J-school. My twitter account has been tore up from the floor up. I changed my description, axed photos and went through the strenuous activity of deleting upwards of 270 non-journalistic tweets.
But that wasn’t anywhere near as bad as what would come.
Constantly being updated has many great factors. I usually have heard something to do with whatever current event is brought up. A teacher can mention a Rob Ford faux pas and I’m able to sift through the hundreds of headlines I’ve read to find the one (or four) she’s referring to.
The downside is being informed when I don’t want to. Case in point; spoilers.
I don’t just read hard news. Journalism is about so much more than Toronto’s latest sexual assault victim; it’s about new and exciting developments in health care, political races, and all the arts and entertainment I can handle.
I’ve always understood that studying journalism meant I’d face having to read, research and ultimately write about, subjects that weren’t exactly pleasant. Never did I think that due to my journalism studies I’d be forced to find out about the untimely end of one of SOA’s most beloved characters, Hurst’s Opie.
I’m not blaming my studies for my finding out. I wholly blame Hurst for re-tweeting all the messages fans sent him after the episode aired. He left no time at all in between the airing Tuesday night and the re-tweets right after. Fans who missed the episode (and I will note that the new season is not currently showing in Canada, so fans up here never had a chance) were cast aside and forced to find out what became of darling Opie via the (often grammatically incorrect) tweets of fellow SOA fans.
Still I can’t help but wonder that if I were in a different field of study, medicine, culinary, even if I had stuck with theatre, it wouldn’t have been second nature for me to wake up Wednesday morning and open my laptop to check what had occurred in the world while I slumbered. Maybe if I wasn’t being trained to always be in the know I would have gone about my day and not checked Twitter. Maybe I would have been able to hunker down in front of my computer at the day’s end and stream the episode my geographical location didn’t allow me to watch as it aired. Maybe I wouldn’t have spent the day biting my tongue as to not tell my friend, a fellow fan of SOA, Opie’s cruel fate.
Sometimes being a journalism student means having to know about all the evil in the world. Sometimes it’s child pornography rings, it’s serial rapists, it’s the death of anything innocent.
But sometimes, sometimes it’s a damn TV spoiler that could have been avoided if the actor didn’t go broadcasting it to everyone who follows him, in complete disregard of grace periods.
I love you journalism, but sometimes you make me learn too much.