I left early Friday afternoon to Batesville, Indiana for a wedding. It’s closer to Cincy then Indy. So I missed all of the major flooding, since I returned this morning. I’ve not really seen many pictures, so I am still trying to get some frame of reference. Our house had 6 feet of standing water in the court. The window that serves as a fire escape route was full of water, eventually broke, and flooded a room of the basement up to the knees. Then one of the sump-pumps stopped. Luckily, the plumber was already headed over since we’ve had sump pump problems recently, and the water was heading up the driveway. They sucked out all the water, and there is just a lot of wet carpet.

There is no worse feeling then being 2 hours away, and unable to help when there is an emergency. The worse feeling is standing at the window of your house, and watching water rapidly approaching the house, unable to stop it. But this wasn’t Myanmar or China.

But at the end of the day, this is stuff. If the basement floods, it’s stuff that can be done without or replaced. In this small disaster, only a lot of stuff is ruined, and not a lot of families or lives. My mom was out in her drive way with 5 gallon buckets doing god-knows-what when several of the neighbors saw her and came over to help. This probably saved our home.

So take a moment today to thank the god of your choice that we live in America, where neighbors still help neighbors and thousands of lives were safe yesterday due to the brave members of our civil service organizations.

New Media and How We Communicate.

Thanksgiving Day at my house was a perfect commentary on modern life and technology. We gathered around the turkey and stuffing for a couple of hours, finished the dishes and spread out. I waddled downstairs to sit at my computer desk, logged on to Instant Messenger, Facebook, and my blog and began writing and looking at various things. After a bit, I walked into the family room, where my sister sat alone on her laptop on AIM, facebook, and her school website working on homework. I walked upstairs to get a piece of pie, and my mom was on the internet checking her email. My aunt had sent pictures from the party they had earlier that morning. A party held across town that we did not go to. So here we were… Three family members on a holiday where you are thrown together to communicate. One of three days out of the year you might see each other, and we spent it online, away from each other.

It’s not like I wasn’t communicating with people. I was IMing friends, writing on facebook walls, and blogging on my personal blog.

I just wasn’t communicating with my family face to face. Now, most people reading this probably think that that is crazy and a little wrong. But I guarantee that people do the same thing. We are better connected to those we love (and those we don’t even really care about) then any generation has ever been. Yet we still feel a little disconnected and lonely.

Let me float a theory. We are the greatest informed generation ever. One New York Times paper contains the same amount of information that the average person in the Middle Ages learned in one lifetime. We can go to sites like Joost, Vuze, You Tube, Hulu, Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, and hundreds of other websites to waste time. We go to these sites, and we fill our lives with little glimpses of other peoples lives so we don’t have to go out and meet new friends in person. In some cases, we don’t have to live our own. There is all the benefit of new friends and fun without any of the rejection. Before you meet someone in person, you can check their interests to make sure they match up with your own.

Is there something wrong with this? Is my generation wrong for pushing the creative envelope online? Or are we missing something that other generations have had?