Humans are funny, aren’t they? They know everything and nothing at the same time. Right now there is a massive manhunt going on in my area; a local man gunned down two PA State Troopers, one of whom died at the scene. As we enter day six in the midst of night six, lots of social media is causing lots of problems. A recurring theme in each of my feeds is “friends” from all over asking advice of those of us in the thick of the news-moment. Tonight, a Facebook pal asked our thoughts on shopping at the local outlet complex tomorrow. I replied:
“Just my thoughts: There are police and SWAT everywhere. Thankfully they aren’t advertising locations and strategies. Our local guys are doing a FANTASTIC job of searching and advising the public. There are higher risk areas than others- don’t go hunting alone on hundreds of acres of woods, for example. Do not go looking for this guy in remote areas, trying to cash in.
I go to work. I walk through town. Tonight in my wooded development I still ran for 2.5 miles at dusk/in the dark. I wouldn’t go out alone now, but I will leave for work tomorrow.
I think you will be fine at the crossings tomorrow. Despite some “nudges” implying this will be like the DC Sniper, it won’t be. We don’t have that expanse of mall/parking area like Tyson’s Corners.
My last tidbit that I really don’t need flack for- – it seems that this suspect has a very specific agenda. I will not let theories dictate a mindful, safe approach to normalcy.
Go to the outlets. Keep your wits. Be safe. Stay involved with your kids and balanced in your community.
This is the reply I received, in my FB pal’s status/comment thread:
@ Juliet , I think your comment was a bit offensive to me. I’m not some paranoid crackpot ….. I get news firsthand at work since I’m a Federal Employee and I use caution that’s all
Publicly I wrote, “I appreciate your candor, [Federal Employee].” Privately I messaged this individual:
While I’m not sure what offended you, it was not my intention. I offered, as stated, my opinion to the state of the manhunt on the Pocono Plateau. Further, your suggestion that I don’t know what’s going on gave me pause.
Facebook is a double-edged sword. There are terrific sources of information but there are far too many people posting as “authorities” when in fact they react viscerally. Their reactions are having a direct and profound NEGATIVE impact on the search for this psychopath. Ultimately, anyone (including FEDERAL EMPLOYEES) who are not first responders in the case and choose to proffer information to the public are a hindrance to the suspect’s apprehension.
I respect your decision to act with a heightened fear. My decision to act with confidence in law enforcement should not be cause in discounting my comment on a friend’s post. You certainly could have contacted me directly to engage in an intelligent dialogue.
What do you think?