I think it's the new technologies, the ease of access to the Internet, and "being connected" that is both beneficial and dangerous. I don't want to dwell on this too long because this could become a water-cooler topic in a matter of sentences. BUT...as news was breaking this past summer, our family felt like there was no where we could go without being overwhelmed with concerned friends, family, and community members.
Don't get me wrong, your encouragement, outreach, and love is one of the things that helps us get through the toughest of days yet in the midst of it all, it can be a challenge to keep it together emotionally when so many extend such love and kindness. I shared this with a friend and she said, "It's okay to cry Lisa when someone asks how you are doing. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of being human." Man, I am VERY human.
As I thought about being human and the difference, this is when I realized, some of the "news" reports with play by plays each hour weren't different than coverage twenty years ago. Reporters were at the Command Center around the clock, just like Heidi's family, friends, and community.
The reporters would leave in enough time to make it back to Syracuse for the news hour, journalists would stay until the last possible moment and then return to the office to write their story for that evening's print, and some spent the extra expense to broadcast from location but the majority were only running their stories in the morning, at Noon, or in the evening. Newspapers had their stories for the morning and evening editions. There wasn't instant access to the news, everyone waited.
With today's technological advances, both print and on-air media were able to broadcast, post, and report at any given moment throughout the day. This makes it easier for those of us waiting for news yet at times, lacks compassion because while families and others involved are waiting, sometimes we had to hear about it while getting groceries, rather than from the investigating teams.
Like the instance with the missing girl earlier this month, I was grateful but in July and August as our family was directly linked to the lead news story, it was a challenge. At one point, a new story was posting almost on the hour, and so many of us "follow" our favorite television news station or newspaper, the "Update" or "Breaking News" sound would beep.
One day as I stood in the check out line, it sounded like a band playing as everyone's phones started to bing, beep, and sound because of the different ring tones set and the different agencies offering an update. I looked at my husband and said, "Do you think?" and before he could answer, people were talking about Heidi's case. I attempted to scan the last of our groceries at the self-check-out but started to shake so bad, Ed had to finish. Mags started bagging and I just tried to unlock my phone to call my parents. In 1994, with the exception of a little check-out line gossip, I could slip in and out and pick up the necessary items but in today's instant access news...it's like rolling the dice.
The next time the news deems my sister's case their "Top Story", I hope they remember to share about Heidi M Allen, the person. She remains missing today and as her sister, I'll never give up hope she'll be found one day. Who knows, one day the notification, in an instant will have friends, family, and our community in tears of thanksgiving because Heidi has been found. Until that day...we view the media attention to her case as a blessing, people that didn't know Heidi or who are new to the area are reminded or introduced to one of Oswego Counties cases...and my sister, Heidi.
How has new technology changed the way you communicate?
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323