Amber Alerts & Internet Saints

A few months ago now, my wife and I were startled awake by an emergency “Amber Alert” on our cell phones. I am not a great sleeper and any decent sleep I can get is precious to me, and I did NOT appreciate getting woken up. I grumpily looked at my phone, saw that there wasn’t anything I could do about it and tried to get back to sleep, only to be woken again about 40min later by another alert, ending the previous alert.

When I groggily dragged my butt out of bed the next morning and turned on the radio people were talking about it. Turns out a young girl was abducted by her father, and the alert was to get people looking for him and his vehicle. He was found, but unfortunately the the story does not have a happy ending, and the father was arrested for the murder of the young girl.

Needless to say I felt like a total dirt bag for getting pissed off when the alert woke me.

Many of the news stories, and much of the talk on social media over the next few days, was talking about the alert that went out, and how people reacted to it. There were a lot of complaints to the police, and a few that called 911 to complain, and I think those people deserved all the ridicule that was heaped upon them, but to complain about *everyone* that reacted poorly to a noise that is designed to be startling waking them a few hours in to their nightly sleep is idiotic.

Suddenly my Facebook page was filled with people demanding “what if it was your child”, and proclaiming “for something like this you can wake me up whenever you want”.

What do these people want? A medal? Go ahead and wake you?!? Wow! You’re a saint! Or maybe you’re not. If you can’t empathize as much with the millions of people that got the crap scared out of them in the middle of the night, as you can with the parent of missing child, then I don’t think you are.

People are allowed to have gut reactions. I have no problem with being woken up in the middle of the night for the safety of a child, but don’t expect me to be happy about it in the moment. Being shocked awake from a dead sleep is not going to have me thinking terribly clearly. Like everyone else that got woken up and reacted badly, I’m only human. The next morning, after I’ve had a chance to think properly about it, I know I will mind a lot less, as will many of the other people that reacted poorly.

Now, if you got up, got the cobwebs out of your head, and still decided to complain, then you deserve all you have coming to you.

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