Digital Media

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A snow day in the Internet age

Since the snow started falling, I've just been glad to have electricity. We lost power at our house Sunday for about seven hours, but luckily I was at work at the time. But seven hours is much better than the 2 1/2 days that the power was out a couple weeks ago. I felt very isolated when I was at home and not at work during those days. Luckily I could still use my cell phone, but I couldn't get on the computer. Or take a hot shower. Or even get drinking water after day 2.

I mostly heard about all the accidents that were going on Sunday over the newsroom scanner. My editor had also called me in the morning to ask me to come in early because of the snow. I also checked and the temperature displayed at the copy place across the street. Traffic cams were also helpful to see how badly the snow was tying up traffic. But when I was trying to decide how difficult it was going to be to go home I didn't rely on secondhand information I was hearing or seeing online. I went outside and walked around a bit to see firsthand how slick the roads were and how much snow had piled up on top of my car during the day. My co-worker's account of coming into work later in the day was more relevant to me than the cars in the ditches that kept coming over the scanner. I spoke with my husband and my neighbor about their experiences driving on the roads leading down to my house.

Even though there is abundant information online, when it comes to weather, I still trust the least technical of information: my personal observations. If I have a choice about leaving the house though, like today, I noticed that I kept an eye on the weather by watching the news on TV and checking the newspaper's Web site online. Based on this information, I decided the farthest I was going to go today was to my mailbox (where there was no mail waiting for me - probably because the mailman was running late in the snow).

Radios and TVs used to be the primary ways that schools would get closure information out. But now parents don't have to wait for a sequence to go by before they can access the information. They can get the information they want when they want it.


  • Yes, I agree with you. You can't be believe everything you hear. When it comes to the weather and driving in it, the primary reason for horrible traffic is poor judgement. I've noticed that people in Seattle don't really have a clue when it comes down to snowy weather driving. Not everyone can have that luxuruy of coming from a cold place like Great Falls, MT and Salt Lake City, UT for me where the snow days just pile up.
    I didn't mind the day after the snow that there was no one on the roads. Maybe what they heard on the television, radio, or Internet really scared them. If that be the case, then that was technology working for me. It's not often there is not of traffic in the Seattle region. I enjoyed it while it lasted.

    By Blogger Steve Park, at 12/12/2006 3:31 PM  

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