Thursday, April 28, 2011
The above report is from Associated Press on YouTube. The tornado outbreak in the southeast over the past couple of days is one of the worst in US history, with over 100 deaths reported so far and countless others left injured or homeless.
In the past, I would have seen reports on television or heard them on the radio, probably said a few prayers for the people involved, and then gotten on with my day. Gotten on with my day because it would have seemed far away, and assuming I didn't know anyone there, it would have remained a distant news story. A tragic story to be sure, but not one that would affect me personally.
With the internet, however, the world seems much smaller. I was online last night following the story and constantly checking in with people I've never met in person--people I probably will never meet in person, but people I nevertheless consider friends.
My first thoughts on waking to the sounds of thunder this morning, were of my friends in other parts of the country and of those who spent last night frantically trying to reach relatives in hard hit areas. As quickly as I could get online, I looked for good news, and found some, but found that others were still looking for loved ones.
Sometimes I hear people say that the internet is impersonal, that you can't have real friends that you've never met. I disagree. The internet has introduced me to people all over the world and my concern for them, in both joy and tragedy, is very real.
My thoughts and prayers go out to those picking up the pieces of their lives this morning.