Friday, March 11, 2011


Although I know this probably isn't a very healthy ritual, every morning when I wake up -- before I'm even out of bed -- I grab my iPhone and scroll through new email and Facebook messages, as well as scan my Twitter feed. I just want to know if anything urgent is awaiting me... and if it isn't, maybe I can justify stealing a few more minutes of rest!

This morning I got a sinking feeling as I started looking through messages -- I could immediately tell that something bad had happened in the world overnight. My Twitter stream was filled with thoughts and prayers for those in Japan, talk of earthquakes and tsunamis, and worry about what might lie ahead for Hawaii and much of the western coast of the U.S. I got my behind out of bed, reviewed a few news sites, and watched a couple of the incredible videos that were taken from helicopters flying over Japan.

This sort of tragedy always smacks me upside the head and forces me to put my "problems" in perspective. All of the little worries that run through my mind on a daily basis are forgotten in a heartbeat whenever something awful happens. I just wish it was easier for me to keep that perspective as time goes on. It seems to be human nature (or is it just me?) to try and shut out memories of sad events and return as quickly as possible to our daily routines and silly anxieties. I guess that's a better option than walking around constantly wondering whether your time could be up at any second -- but I'm hoping there's some sort of happy medium I can arrive at with a little effort. As in, not living in fear that a catastrophe is lurking around the corner, but still being mindful that in the whole scheme of things, I -- and probably anyone who has an internet connection and a device through which they can read a blog (that would be you) -- have it pretty good.

So the earthquake in Japan reminded me to stop and smell the roses a bit more, but it also helped me realize that Twitter is NOT always a reliable source of information. (Duh, right?) Since, thanks to LOST, I've become friends with a bunch of people in Hawaii, I knew that nothing much was going on there this morning. Yet I still read tweets from some of the biggest global news organizations reporting that "waves were sweeping through the islands" and all sorts of other ominous tales that WERE NOT TRUE. ?!?! I mean, it's one thing when ridiculous celebrity rumors run rampant across the Internet -- most intelligent people can smell those hoaxes coming from a mile away. But when the Associated Press (among others) is tweeting false information that seems like it could've been verified or denied in, oh, I don't know -- two minutes by a call to anyone in Hawaii -- that's pretty shameful.

It's a nice sunny day here in Chicago, so I'm going to do my best to start appreciating the little things by finishing up my writing duties and then getting outside to enjoy some fresh air. But before I do that, I will definitely be donating to the American Red Cross to help those in Asia and the Pacific region affected by Mother Nature's wrath. If you'd like to do the same, here's how.

1 comment:

Lani said...


Our thoughts are so often on the same page (I normally just don't take the time to let you know). I've come to realize with the situation recently here in the Middle East, that the first media outlet on the internet to report is usually lying (outright). If CNN reports it, it's true but slanted. I've been watching a couple of Twitter accounts for reliable news of what's actually happening on the streets in Saudi Arabia. But your post reminded me that I should give that those Twitter addresses to someone I can call locally in the UAE to get info if our internet is "taken down" at some point.

I gave all my family our local phone number, as well as the US Consulate's local phone number (with instructions on how to dial them) so they have some means of contacting me outside of the Vonage line they use and love. But it's funny how we've come to rely so heavily on Vonage, email, FB, etc. that my family thought we'd be completely cut off if I lost internet. Not completely, but almost.