Let’s face it. While we may protest to some degree or another, we are news junkies. We may think that this is a new phenomenon – with news feeds, Facebook, Twitter, texts and emails literally with us in every waking moment – it is perhaps what we have always done. From gatherings at hangings to checking out car wrecks, we just want to know what is happening when things go wrong.
I like to think that sometimes I watch because something is so sad or so horrible that I think I must watch to remind myself of how lucky I am. It is also a time to connect with others, feel their pain and send them our sympathy and passion. Perhaps it is a little of the voyeur in us, but then again it is our curiosity that has pushed us to the top of the food chain and able to manipulate much of the world around us.
It is for this reason that it is important to get information out as quickly, as accurately and as often as possible. Maybe it is the mom in me, but my empathy genes shift into high expression when crises hit and my mind conjures up all types of images of how others must be feeling. It is that, therefore, that makes me want to tell others what I know that might ease their anxiety, if only a little.
Being prepared for disasters is not only a good idea, but a potentially life saving one. It is not, though, like going through the “real thing.” That is the point, though, of the whole being prepared part is accepting that things will happen that are beyond your expectations.
That, I believe, is where information comes in. Say there has been a fire, earthquake or shooting – while the shock of reality will certainly be there, the whats-where-how-whys of it will help us understand, figure out ways to cope then find a way to deal with it all.
For now, I think I better figure out that Twitter thing. I think I am missing out on something important! Now about that “hash tag” thing…