"When you sit in front of a computer writing all day, with every news site as well as social media open in a tab in front of you, the events of the day filter in even if you're not 100% paying attention to them. You have a basic situational awareness of what's happening in the world. Given the prevalence of social media, to say nothing of the fact that each of us now carries around a supercomputing link to everything in his or her pocket, I figured it was simply impossible to be so distracted that big events just slip by without your noticing at all. As I learned two weekends ago, however, it can happen."

There was a time I was a slave to my cellphone or, in the now unthinkable pre-cellphone era, my pager. When my phone rang or my beeper buzzed, and it was work on the other end, it was as if Pavlov had picked up a bell and started clanging it all over the room. I stopped in my tracks and knew what I had to do next: run to a television; call the newsdesk; forget whatever my plans were for the rest of the day; prepare myself for the next round of breaking news to come barreling into my relative calm. Because that was my job. 

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Image: by ka92