‘If your mother says she loves you…’

    Today, about 2:30 in the afternoon, I got a text message from a friend who notified me (and probably the rest of her Address Book contacts) of an “Amber Alert” arising from an alleged local kidnapping.

    The text, which also had been forwarded to my friend, divulged the place of alleged incident, make of a car and a license plate number. The tail-end of the message read: “KEEP THIS GOING. YOU WOULD IF IT WAS YOUR CHILD!”

    I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I didn’t keep the message going.

    My initial reaction certainly was to send it blazing through our telecommunications highway — to every one of my contacts — but as I began to compose my very own text message, skepticism stood up to call a Time Out.

    It’s now 4:13 p.m., and I’ve spent the past 90-plus minutes agonizing about my decision to not forward this message. Instead, I scoured Snopes.com, visited the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, signed up for wireless Amber Alerts and e-mailed two government agencies seeking for validation of the alleged kidnapping.

    But I couldn’t just pass on a simple text message to friends for the sake of empathy and worry? Even if it turned out to be wrong?

    It feels as though I never left journalism.

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    One Response to “‘If your mother says she loves you…’”

    1. 1 john Says:

      You are not alone. I have received two Amber Alert text messages in the past week or so and I Googled them and found no stories on them. Actually, I found one story that said that police were wondering why there were said text messages being sent out when they didn’t authorize it.

      So, keep on keepin’ on!

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