The year was 1977 and I was in grade school. I was hanging out at my friend Gary Farrah’s house. Yes his last name was Farrah just like her first name. We were waiting for the news to come on so we could see if the schools were going to close the next day. You see back in those days they only ran the school closings DURING the news, not on a 24 hour continuous cycle. You were still able to see all of the screen when you watched Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman.
Well technology has grown in leaps and bounds since those days. We no longer have the blocky Atari video games with their horrendous graphics. We have more information available to us in a mere five seconds than we could have hunted down in an entire week back in 1977. But it seems that the method of delivering school, church and business closings has not improved one iota. In fact I think it has possibly gotten worse.
The fact is that we are at the zenith of information delivery. I don’t have to tell you the value of a website which will tell you all you need to know about the schools and churches and what agendas and lunch specials they are running this week. Everyone knows about the internet and all the wonders it can bring us.
So my question is why are we forced back into the 1970’s when it comes to the method in which the media alerts us to school, church and business closings? Why can’t they simply run the closings once during the newscast for those who do not have computers or internet access and refer the 90 percent of us that do have access to their website?
Another question that comes to my mind is why is it the responsibility of the local news station to advise us that a church or business is going to be closed? I would think that in the case of businesses that the HR department would be quite capable of contacting their employees to advise them not to come in. Even if they have thousands of employees I am sure they could use an automated dialing and messaging system to let their employees know the company’s status.
When it come to churches why can’t they simply have some trusted members of the congregation place phone calls to the membership in general and advise them of the closing? Why do I have to sit through a continuous list telling me that a church or business is going to be closed? I can only read the fact that Miss Lavon’s Beauty Salon is going to be closed so many times. And does anyone really care about whether or not “Cowboy Driving School of Enid” is going to be operational?
Why do we have to have this stuff running 24/7? Why don’t we do it once or twice every four hours and let it go in the interim? Or better yet, why don’t we relegate this programming to the alternate channels that most of the local broadcasters run simultaneously? Channel 9 has their channel 53, KFOR has channel 247 and well who cares what channel 5 has because no one watches them anyway. And if you are about to ask, “What about those people without cable?” Well I will tell you that those without cable or satellite and receive their TV over the air have access to additional channels that are broadcast by the local media as well. Why don’t they use those alternate channels for school closings and the full time coverage of weather? That way they could leave the primary frequency open for regular programming.
In closing, I say this… Run the closings once every four hours, run them at 6:00 AM, Noon, 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM. If you should miss one of the broadcasts you can catch the next one. That way everyone gets to watch full screen TV and the parents can tune in at one of the appointed times and again, if they miss it they can catch the next one. Seems pretty simple to me.
The Bobman has spoken