Modern Life · Opinion Piece · Rants

What I Noticed Today Is…The News is Harming Friendships

Poinsettia Firestorm 2014
Poinsettia Firestorm 2014

What I noticed today is who contacted me to make sure my family and me were okay during the recent Poinsettia Fire.  We were really, really close to the second fire with the first one being dubbed the Bernardo fire.  We were given orders via Reverse 911 to get ready to go.  My family and I quickly decided what to take with us and what to leave behind to…burn??

Actually, I guess what I really noticed is who didn’t contact me, and you know what?  It’s going to be hard to not ask them why they didn’t care enough to send a ten second text.  I know the fires were all over the news all over the U.S. so I cannot imagine that the friends didn’t hear about it.  These, of course, are the people who are out of the state and not the ones living the nightmare.

I asked some friends of mine if they were surprised at who didn’t contact them, and they all replied no.  One friend said that nobody asked her if she was ok.  She didn’t seem to care that nobody had.  She offered this as an explanation, “Perhaps they didn’t think it was that bad.”  And that sentence is very telling.  Here’s what I think about why that is: the evening news.

The news has become over sensationalized about every little drop of rain, wind, and fire and we’ve all experienced it (Firestorm 20xx–said in a booming, powerful voice).  Friends have watched the news covering San Diego from their states, reached out when they thought it was bad (because of the news), and then when I said, “Thanks for checking in but it’s barely sprinkling here.  We weren’t affected by the mudslides,” they must feel embarrassed.  I think it makes them less likely to call/text/email again.

The sensational news stories need to stop so that my friends and family don’t feel dumb about asking me if my family and me are ok.

[We are, by the way, in case you were going to ask :-)]

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4 thoughts on “What I Noticed Today Is…The News is Harming Friendships

  1. I found one of two things to be true:
    1) My out-of-town friends think “San Diego” is all one big place, so when there’s a fire in San Diego they naturally assume I’m in it.
    2) My friends feel silly making a big deal out of it because the news obviously makes any natural disaster a TV Movie of the Week.

    I heard from some, not from others, and it was OK with me.

    I’m glad YOU’RE OK. I’m sorry I didn’t send a text! 🙂

    XO

    1. Yeah, I know I’m being a big ‘ol baby but one friend from South Carolina said that they kept saying there’s a fire in Carlsbad and that prompted her to text, Facebook inbox, call, and email all within an hour. It felt good to be checked up on.

      One thing I just noticed is that I don’t watch the news much because there’s always something awful that happened on there, so I’m guilty of not checking in with others in their own disaster areas because I truly know nothing about it.

      Funny how the whole story changes if you simply look in the mirror…

    1. I agree with you both. Probably just too jacked up on adrenaline when I wrote this–I think I sorta apologized to the news the next day 🙂 I definitely need them more than they need me!

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