Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why Checking the Weather Makes Me Sad

Listen, just like your grandpa, I enjoy checking the weather multiple times a day to see what's going on with the clouds and sun. Once upon a time, I might have relied on The Weather Channel for this information. That was a simpler time, I'll admit. I only had to turn on the TV and wait for the forecast to roll through, along with some gentle commercials about stool softeners and diabetes.

As with all things, the internet changed this for the better several years ago. Now instant weather information was available at a moment's notice. Forecasts could be reviewed for the day ahead or even the week ahead, without having to wait for the top of the hour. This was a glorious period of time, a stint of years that I remember fondly, like an old dog.

Then IT happened.

I should have known that even would not be safe from the all-encompassing claws of SEO and link bait headlines. Now when I go to check the forecast, I have to avert my eyes from news headlines like "20 year old found dead" and "Rescuers rush to save baby on sailboat!"

Look. When I just want to see if it's going to be cloudy and will I need a jacket, I don't want to catch up on the news, especially not sensationalist news items that make me really sad. Checking the weather might make me unhappy if the forecast is extra cold or extra stormy, but up until now, it has never made me sad. The weather was a safe spot on the internet and on TV, where information was simply presented without preamble and for a few minutes, the sad tragedies of the world could be forgotten in a swirl of maps and dew points and chances of rain.

But no longer. And for that, I say - shame on you, internet. Shame.

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