However, I was reminded by the universe that holding things in is not a healthy way to live. So…I’ll let these thoughts fly.
My Reporter’s Notebook have been overflowing with plenty of “WTF” items that I was holding on to for some time. However, I was reminded by the universe that holding things in is not a healthy way to live.
So…I’ll let these thoughts fly. After all, what harm would they cause to my work and health?
NAIAS: First off…if you were looking forward to attending an auto show at the Huntington Center in Detroit in 2024, you won’t be able to.
Instead, the producers of the North America International Auto Show have decided to return to their “traditional” January spot in 2025.
On some level, we get it. Detroit is the home of the North American automotive industry. The show has not been what it used to be. Then again, most auto shows have fallen on expectations for the media. The real winners have been the general public, who have driven the across-the-board sales increase coming out of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A Tier 1 auto show should always yield some news. Last year, Ford made a big splash outside at Detroit’s Hart Plaza for their updated 2024 F-150. That was it for Detroit. However, it showed that some manufacturers would rather get creative in their introductions of new vehicles that they would do so outside of the confines of an auto show. Most of the key introductions dating back before the pandemic were held outside of the auto show circuit.
I’ve always argued that OEMs will get a greater catchment of news and media attention when you do their vehicle introduction during press days at a Tier 1 auto show. With the number of media members floating around the show floor, you have instant ROI (return on investment – a measurement an automotive manufacturer and public relation firms cherishes the most from the media). Why waste more money on an off-site, off-schedule event to invite only a few media members to make your big reveal happen for everyone else to capture second – or third-hand?
Would moving Detroit’s auto show back in January induce manufacturers to bring back reveals inside Huntington Place? Well…let’s see what news will transpire at this year’s Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles shows first.
AI: The noise about artificial intelligence has been turned to eleven in the past few years. This technology has been seen as the way forward when it comes to customizing one’s lifestyle.
To me, AI is both a blessing and a curse. Sure, AI could assist in helping to make things easier for everyone. It is also a cost savings for businesses who utilize it. However, it also threatens to challenge the intelligence of human beings. AI could also eliminate jobs and create economic and cultural divisions in society.
I may have overdramatized the last sentence, but nevertheless I have a serious issue with one aspect of AI. In the field of journalism, the use of AI eliminates ideas, thoughts, opinions, and human storytelling. As an editor for a lifestyle magazine (my day job, BTW), I expect that the stories I received are not done completely using AI technology. That would indicate the absence of the story’s “human factor” when publishing a story for the readership.
On the other hand, there is a benefit in using AI in the media business. If you are conducting an interview via phone or video conferencing, I found one service that is sometimes driven by AI to create a transcript to ensure accuracy for quoting my subjects (for the record, I use the "human transcript" option to assure even better accuracy). It is not that the average media person is not as “smart” or “skilled” compared to their predecessors. Nor should one be accused of laziness by utilizing an AI-driven transcription service to help with assuring the accuracy of an interview.
The caveat to all of this is for the writer to infuse their own voice along the transcribed interview. That way, you can truly tell the story even with a bit of a technological assist.
Still, the debate continues regarding the further use of AI. Should it dictate your life? No. Should it augment your lifestyle? Not entirely? Should it assist you in things that you may need help in setting up? It could, yes.
There’s a lot more to unpack regarding the use of AI in our lives and work. Should it be the sole purpose for living? I hope not…
ONE MORE THING: Sometimes, I have to question Facebook’s/Meta’s algorithms when it comes to what they want me to see repeatedly.
It is true that mental health is one of the most important issues we face as a society. There are many solutions towards dealing with this in our daily lives. Therapy is a common solution, even though demand for services taxed the system during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I do not know the latest statistics regarding balancing the supply-demand issue on mental health providers, but it seems things are easing up somewhat.
Off-and-on my Facebook feed is an ad for BetterHelp.com. The ad features a healthy and handsome young man who is at the gym. It starts off with the young man playing the worst air drumming I’ve seen in any sort of media. Perhaps he is showing his masculinity through his actions – a theme seen throughout this ad.
While this character talks about managing his mental health by working out at the gym, he starts to doubt whether he was up to the task when given a promotion at work. He verbalized this as he put the dumbbell down onto the rack. A cut to his trainer or spotter shows a reaction that is truly priceless.
Another cut shows the main character regaining his energy in a quick manner to grab his bag and scamper off at the end of the ad.
I’m confused by this ad. If this is about the online mental health service and what it can do for those who need it, I’m sure not if this is truly making the point. The tag line – “Therapeutic, but not therapy” – what does that mean in this context? Maybe it’s a way to explain BetterHelp.com’s intent to invite you to utilize their services, but the overall message is puzzling.
Perhaps it is the use of this character type. He is the masculine heteronormative archetype, diverting energy from what needs to be addressed by exerting energy at the gym.
However, I can see that one such message from this ad is “don’t be this guy.” If you’re looking for therapy or someone to talk to, don’t divert your energy towards resolving your issues through means that mask your issues.
Thankfully, I’m not that guy.
Cover photo by Randy Stern