Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthcare, Media, and a Panther Victory

I was dismayed to see that the federal government has undertaken a large health care plan without the support of a large majority of the people.  Now that I've disclosed my bias, let's begin today's topic: getting the news while living abroad.

While cruising Facebook, a few days ago, I noticed a few friends wishing the UNI Panthers luck in their upcoming basketball game.  Then the trickle became a flood of EXCITED STATUS MESSAGES FILLED WITH CAPSLOCK AND EXCLAMATION POINTS BECAUSE UNI UPSET KANSAS!!!!!  HOLY COW!!!!!   IT'S A GOOD DAY TO BE A PANTHER!!!!!

And then I realized:  This is how I get my news.  If not for Facebook, I don't think I would have even noticed that March madness had begun.  It seems I first find out about most major happenings in Iowa and the US by noticing a bunch of people writing about them on Facebook or blogs and then, if it looks like a major story, I check out US News or some other website.

The same thing happened with the passing of the healthcare bill.  All of a sudden, half the people on the web were talking about the same thing.  Some Facebook statuses were a little cryptic, like "be careful what you wish for."  But others were plenty direct, either in their joy over "happy health care reform" or their conviction that the "'reform' bill has no hope of providing any meaningful reform to the health care system."  One status even mentioned the phenomenon I'm commenting on today: "I'm gone for a week and come back to find out via people's facebook messages that the government's now going to control 1/6 of the economy with healthcare."

I don't think it's necessarily a good thing that I get my news from blogs and Facebook, but it's interesting to think of the strange little ways that the Internet has changed how we do things.  How has social media changed your life?

(And congrats to my hometown team. Go Panthers!)


  1. The UNI basketball team is really the headline news here in Cedar Falls. But they also made the cover of Sports Illustrated, and most surprisingly, the lead sports story in the Iowa City Press Citizen. Go Panthers!

  2. My students are always asking me what my hometown is famous for, because in China, everywhere is "famous" for something. I informed them today that (for once) my hometown IS famous for something -- our basketball team! Hopefully they can keep it up.