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Shelton Mason County Journal
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March 13, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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March 13, 2014

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KOMEN COMMENT The age of the 'selfie' 'f you needed an illustra- tion of how cluttered social . media sites have become, just hearken to the night of the televised Oscar Awards. That's when a selfie caused Twitter to crash. The selfie was an apparently spontane- ous show-business gimmick early in the Oscar broadcast. It featured the program's host surrounded by movie stars. The smartphone camera snapped the laughing group crowded face-to- face in the front row. Back on the Oscar stage with the camera phone in hand, host Ellen DeGeneres happily announced she was now going to tweet the selfie. And she urged the television audience to follow up by retweeting the tweet. An estimated 43 million viewers were watching, and millions of them picked up on her suggestion. Minutes later, DeGeneres proclaimed the re- sult. She happily announced the selfie transmissions had reached epic proportions, and she proudly proclaimed Twit- ter's capacity to handle the input had collapsed. Twitter, a giant social media site, had crashed. That's only one aspect of the present social media phenom- enon. A letter writer to a Phoe- nix newspaper put the problem in further perspective: "We have cluttered the 'blogosphere' with so much unfettered junk, no one, and I do mean no one, listens to any- thing anymore," he wrote. The danger, he said, "is the loss of freedom of speech." And therein rests the real problem. If everyone is chat- tering and no one is listening, how do we know or discern what is important to us as citi- zens? What is among all this drivel that will contribute to the knowledge needed to make responsible decisions? This insatiable urge for per- sonal recognition and silly dis- course has resulted in Internet and social media addiction by millions of Americans. These keyboard junkies daily spend hours cruising the Internet for silliness to which they can affix their name and relay to their By JOHN KOMEN online buddies. Getting on YouTube is one craze that boggles the mind. Get a video clip on YouTube featuring you and your pet kitten and you're assured of immortality. For some unfathomable reason, people will click to see you and your kitten perform. The real madness rests in the atmo- spheric numbers of hu- man beings who par- ticipate in postings on Facebook and Twitter. These two giant social media vehicles have become the means of personal presence for hundreds of mil- lions of Americans. Here with the "hits" and "likes" is where they find fame. It is, of course, where entre- preneurs and investors find for- tunes. For the more who turn to Twitter and Facebook and put their face on YouTube, the more profits from advertising and sales based on all the accu- mulated data. The data -- most of it personal -- can be and is used to design personally tar- geted sales pitches. Selling social media statis- tics has become big business. And some of it is illegal. So- called "click farms" are work- ing to build bogus "hit" figures. "Offshore 'click farms' (are) where workers tap, tap, tap the thumbs-up button, view videos or retweet comments to inflate social media numbers," reports The Associated Press. The AP says security re- searchers believe "fake Face- book activities bring in $200 million a year." YouTube "wiped out billions of music in- dustry video views last Decem- ber after auditors" uncovered exaggerated "click" totals. That Oscar selfie that crashed Twitter was more than just an entertaining moment. It was an example of the unfet- tered junk out there in social media land. B John Komen, who lives on Mason Lake, was for 40 years a reporter and editor, TV anchor- man, national TV network cor- respondent, producer, colum- nist, editorial writer and com- mentator. His column, Komen Comment, appears each week in the Mason County Journal. l Mason County 11i OUrNaJ ..... I  i i " USPS 492-800 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mason County Journal, RO. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584. Published weekly by the Mason County Journal at 227 West Cota Street, Shelton, Washington Mailing address: RO. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584 Telephone (360) 426-4412.www.masoncounty.com Periodicals postage paid at Shelton, Washington Mason County Journal is a member of Washington Newspaper Publishers' Association. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: $37 per year for Mason County addresses, $51 per year in state of Washington but outside Mason County, $61 per year out of state. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Pool has numerous benefits Editor, the Journal Dear Mason County Community: I am writing to you to express my great concern about the Shelton High School pool. The pool has been part of our community for more than 40 years. The SHS pool has been an integral part of many lives of the residents of Mason County, both young and old. How can a pool be so fundamental in so many lives in our county? S: Safety -- Swimming lessons to help prevent drowning (Mason County has more than 200 lakes and is bordered by large bodies of saltwater). H: Health -- Swimming is great all-around exer- cise (Any person can enjoy the pool no matter what their physical abilities may be). S: Students -- All Shel- ton school students swim at the pool, even if it is for a few weeks a school year, as a PE credit toward graduation. P: People -- People of the community swim for a healthy, easy-on-the-joints exercise. O: Onward --Swim team members receive college scholarships for swimming. O: Optimism -- Op- timism by building con- fidence in a person who learns to swim. L: Laughter -- Laugh- ter of the kids having birthday parties at the pool. There are so many words to describe how the SHS pool has been an amazing asset for all these years in Mason County and how fortunate it is that our students and community members are to have access to this incredible pool for many years to come. For my family, this is full circle. I attended SHS and swam in the pool. My children took swim lessons and now are on the boys' and girls' swim teams. Both of my children are A students and are very active in many school ac- tivities. Being on the swim team has held them to higher standards both in and out of school. As you take time to read this, please reflect within yourself and ask the ques- tion, "How has the SHS pool been part of my life or my family's life?" How has it benefitted the students in my community? How have our community mem- bers benefitted? Thank you for your time in reading all of the letters and email supporting the continuation of the SHS pool. We as parents are counting on you, the board members, to make the right choice to keep the SHS pool open and opera- tional as it is now. Michelle Schreiber Shelton Pleasant memories of pool Editor, the Journal I was so shocked to hear that the SHS pool is being considered for closure. Although I no longer live in Shelton,'the pool was a vital part of my for- mative years. I remember when the pool was built and opened all brand new and beautiful. I participated in other sports in high school, but if anyone asked, I always said I was a swimmer. I spent many, many hours at the pool. My first job was sitting in the lock- er room to be sure peoples' belongings were safe. I then worked as a lifeguard, taught water aerobics, "morn and me" classes, swim lessons and private lessons. I swam on the high school team all four years. I hung out at the pool with my buddies and harassed the coaches (in a good way). I remember rid- ing my bike to the pool to get there at 5 a.m. so the adults could lap swim. see LETTERS, page A-5 Owned and published by She#on-Mason County Journal, Inc. Tom Hyde, publisher Nowsroom: Adam Rudnick, editor Natalie Johnson, reporter Gordon Weeks, reporter Emily Hanson, sports reporter Kirk Ericson, proofreader Advertising: Dave Pierik, Sr. Acct. Executive Kathy Brooks, ad representative Lloyd Mull(m, ad representative Front office: Donna Kinnaird, bookkeeper Rene Chaplin, circulation Composing room: William Adams, graphics Linda Fdzzell, graphics All editorial, advertising and legal deadlines are 5 p.m. Monday prior to publication. To submit a letter to the editor, email adam@mssoncounty.com.