Saturday, September 15, 2012

Late News Hits Just As Hard

I know that relying on social media and parents is a flawed policy for finding out about news in a timely fashion, but how is it that today I find out that Brad Greenwood (a former boss and an important part of the indie book retailer scene in Western Canada) died on July 19? Really, this makes me question the value of FB and the like even more: I have friends (and family) in Edmonton who must have known about this, who surely can't have forgotten that I worked at Greenwoods' in the 1980s. So either some of them posted something but it went by so fast I never saw it, or they didn't post at all, but either way it's frustrating.

We shouldn't have to rely on something like FB or Twitter to update us on the news, good and bad, that hits our lives. We should, however, know that sometimes we need to pick up the phone, or even send along a direct email, for crying out loud. It may indeed be difficult to remember who is connected with each other, I understand this, but the inability to move forward when that lack of conviction hits you is a sad thing.

Or am I just spitting into the wind here? When a friend's father died not long ago, I made the effort to contact the mutual friends who I know would have wanted to hear the news. Some were contacted via phone, others by email, which while less personal is still at the very least direct.

Facebook and Twitter are useful, yes, but I believe they have demeaned the very meaning and value of contact in our lives. Nobody phones anymore (well, nobody phones me, and maybe it's because I'm turning into this crotchety old man who shakes his fist at kids these days. The data is inconclusive), and so if I want to talk with anyone it's me who almost always picks up the phone.

This saddens me, and the news of Brad's death coming so late just adds to the pile-on.

Well said, Derryl. I didn't know either.
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