Ah the age of the internet. Its been less than 24 hours, but by now, Sarah Palin’s face is more well known that the Alaska governor ever thought it would be. Coming out of the clear blue, Palin and McCain have managed to make themselves THE hot topic of Yahoo news, Google reader and bloggers worldwide (political or not). I imagine that CCN, FoxNews and the like are just eating this up as well. Though, luckily, those are a little out of range for me. Within minutes, literally, the news had reached my email box. As I’ve been trying to read up on the 2nd runner up Miss Alaska, I have been floored by how quickly news can spread.
This isn’t a blog about politics, or questioning the motives of McCain. I’m more inclined to read about it than talk about it. But I just cannot get over how quickly this has become world news. I try my best to keep up with the political race back home, as well as other pressing news nationwide and local from my hometown(s). It helps to keep me connected, in a time when everything else in my world right now is so disconnected from home. I’ve mentioned before about how I have to be on my guard, particularly regarding the elections, because people here love to talk about it. They are well informed and if I’m not, well, that just makes me look like a stupid American. The beauty of online news and Google reader, instant email access and online chats, is that I always have the opportunity to stay informed. To stay connected. Through the miracle of Skype, I can see my family and boyfriend. Through the wonders of online photo albums I can keep up with my growing godson. Through a free email account I can keep in constant contact with my class of missionaries, spread everywhere from Nicaragua to Denver to South Africa. Even text messaging crosses the ocean from time to time. The age of internet never ceases to amaze me.
I’ll admit, it is one of those things that quickly crossed over from a need to a want. It is something that I pushed over that line, making it a necessity in my life. I can’t imagine living without instant access to pictures, emails and conversations with friends and family. I can’t imagine waiting a week to read American news headlines. My pastor here talks about how, when he and his wife first moved here over 20 years ago, they waited weeks for hand written letters from home; only called home from special occasions or traumas. And while I cannot imagine going that long without contact, I can also see how it has bonded them to their community. This is their home. When something happens, they turn to their immediate community, not their community back home. When they have a joy to share, they invite their neighbors over, instead of instantly logging on to skype. I complain to myself a good bit about feeling a bit of a disconnect here. I feel like I haven’t given enough of myself to this community. I tried for a couple of months to learn a language, and gave up. I work 6 days a week, and love my job and the people I work with, but the people I turn to first are those I have contact via email, people who are on an opposite time schedule as me. I don’t know if any of you other YAMs out there have experienced this? To say that it is hard would be an understatement. I have no desire to lose my connections with home. But I also see that it has kept me from grounding myself here.
Ah the age of the internet. A blessing and a curse.