How many times have we seen it on social media?
My _________ (Options: brother, sister, son, daughter, dog) went backpacking to Thailand and is “MISSING” because they haven’t checked into Facebook for 30 minutes and I’m worried sick. Please share this with all your friends and family on every FB page and group with the word Thailand in it.
Back in the day people packed their rucksacks and off they went not to be heard of again for months on end. Their family and friends back home were lucky if they got a postcard every other month saying the usual, “Life is great, Thailand is great, missing you (not), I’m off to see a temple, I’ll write again soon, Bye for now”.
And that was it. No drama.
In the modern world of smartphones, wi-fi, and social media things are a whole lot different.
Kids wrapped in cotton wool all their lives want to head out into the big bad world and this has their family shitting bricks and panicking when their beloved go off the radar for a couple of days.
Twatpackers going on three day benders getting smashed and high on whatever or middle aged men balls deep in some bargirl they have fallen in love with are not missing. They are either selfish, stupid, smashed, shagging or a combination of any of the four. 99.9% of the time they are not “missing”.
No Facebook updates in 1 day family = mmm
No Facebook updates in 2 days family = worry
No Facebook updates in 3 days family = panic
No Facebook updates in 4 days family = drama queen mode
The other common problem is family members telling half a tale when making their dramatic and sensationalist appeals with every news organisation and blogger jumping on the bandwagon taking them at their word.
The problem I, and many others it would appear, have with the drama queens and their missing persons appeals is when someone genuinely has gone missing or in need of help.
Many people quickly dismiss the appeals because in the past so many have cried wolf, jumped the gun or found out to have not been telling the full story when the person turns up such as a family falling out and the traveler doesn’t want to return home as planned and cuts contact as was the case not so long ago.
Or the guy who was holed up in a hotel for two weeks with a hooker whilst his family back in New Zealand were worried sick as he hadn’t returned from his holiday as planned but didn’t bother calling to let them know he was safe.
Fault comes from all sides. Obsessive parents, selfish travelers, sensationalist reporting, and social media users willing to share any old shite without thinking.
Image Credit: bulldogpi.org