One summer while I was at summer camp, there was a war in Kosovo. To this day, I really don’t know what it was about. I didn’t even know there was a war until I came home and it was randomly mentioned in conversation. I was a little upset that none of my counselors had even mentioned that our country was at war. Blame it on camp rules or our society’s ability to turn a blind eye to things that are undesirable, but I was alive for an entire war and didn’t know it had happened. No one told me, and with no access to internet, television, or newspapers, I just missed the war. They updated us on the Olympics when those happened, though. There was a whole big to-do about the Brazilian campers and the soccer team.
Anyway, my point, which has nothing to do with sexy soccer players, is that when you live a life removed from cable television and newspapers, you miss a lot of important events. We do have cable in cast housing, but with all sorts of roommates, it’s not really nice to ask to watch the nightly news. I can’t subscribe to a newspaper, I move every few months. So sadly, the majority of my news either comes from my Yahoo news feed on the way to checking my email, which is usually about the Kardashians and Lindsey Lohan’s favorite rehab location, or even worse, from Facebook.
I’ve never really understood the allure of the Kardashians, and Lindsay Lohan doesn’t really interest me. So, most of my news comes from Facebook. I log on, and 90% of the time if something horrible has happened, it pops up on my news feed. Russia invading Cremia came from a very politically minded friend. Tips on who might be running for President next time comes from a friend who works in political campaigns. And when the building in New York blew up last week, I found out within moments of it happening.
My mother was staying in New York, and when I called to make sure she was all right, she hadn’t even heard anything was wrong. Now, I’m not saying I just read the status and move on. If a story they are talking about interests me, I do some research. For the New York fire, I found out a lot of information by reading the NYC Fire Department’s tweets. If there is a trial that all of my friends are arguing about, I read up on both sides and then keep my opinions to myself so no one de-friends me.
In my isolated little life where I do theatre by day and write at night, social media is where I find out what important things are going on in the world that I really need to know about. And who broke up with who for good measure. And maybe a few baby pictures, too.
Incidentally, one of my good friends in college was a veteran of the war in Kosovo. The war he went to, however brief, changed his life. And I never even knew it happened.
And for any other social media junkies out there who also happen to have a blog, the signup sheet for my cover reveal/blog tour/book review has been posted! Click on this link to sign up and help me to spread the word for my premier young adult novel The Tethering. And the blurb for the book is there, too!