Fern Ridge-Tribune News
Sweet Lorane Community News
September 2, 2021
By Pat Edwards
It seems like life has suddenly become a major challenge these days for many of us. What happened to the days of sitting down in the evening to watch the local news before “Wheel” or one of our favorite comedy or detective shows came on?—We used to spend our mornings before heading for work or tackling home chores by sitting down with a cup of coffee to read our substantial local daily newspaper to see what has been happening in our communities. It didn’t just contain vast amounts of international and national news with just a smattering of local news and obits as it does now. Yes… it detailed the news of horrific crime and tragic events close to home, but there were a lot of other “feel-good” stories of the exceptional talents and imaginative goals set by the people in our own Lane County community. Once the paper was read, we were able to put it aside and go about our personal lives and relationships each day.
In today’s world, we have allowed our lives to be enveloped by “the news”—24-hours a day. We’ve become slaves to our cell phones, computers and television with their “on the spot” coverage and endless discussions of what’s going on in our world. We’re deluged by opinions of others in the form of social media, talk shows and biased political networks that, despite their views, are encouraging us to “pick sides” and, collectively, are dividing us as a nation.
Is it too much to wish, despite all of the many advances in technology, that we can begin to realize what its overuse is doing to us as a society? Can we begin to back off a bit on our dependence on it?
As I write these words, a thought occurs to me—How can I justify advising others about their dependence on “instant” news when I’m guilty of it myself? After all, I am one of the administrators of the Lorane, Oregon Facebook page and, like others, I find myself not only scrolling through its postings, but also those of our neighboring communities. These community pages are beneficial, I believe. When used, as they are intended, in finding lost pets, connecting with neighbors, warning of hazards on roadways and updates on road construction, they provide a service to its members. As administrator, it’s my job to monitor comments to make sure they stay respectful and non-personal. For the most part, they are, and fortunately the negative ones are well in the minority.
I also love to follow Facebook as a means of connecting with family and friends who I don’t see often… hearing about their families, activities and travels and, best of all, seeing pictures that illustrate their stories. I love to share my own stories and be able to wish the special people in my life a “happy birthday” or “congratulations.”
What I object to most is that many are using social media, especially, as a means of spreading discontent with anything that they don’t agree with. For them, it’s become very political and combative with no room for compromise and, unfortunately, many are jumping on their bandwagons.
I want to use this means to express my appreciation to the weekly newspapers that carry my column, for the service each is providing to our local communities. They put faces to the names of our community members and keep everyone apprised of what’s happening in not only their own communities, but with their schools, organizations, businesses and residents. They reach out to neighbors and cover events that appeal to many in our rural communities and provide a breath of fresh air to their readers.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.