Why are you so upset?

I won’t dispute the idea that the local news media here in Oklahoma drums up and exploits panic about potential severe weather incidents for ratings and online traffic. They totally do. It’s what the news does now–and people perpetuate it by giving the media what they want.

So far this winter, there have been three major storm threats, the first of which was supposed to be really bad. The weather guys strutted across TV screens statewide spewing meteorological technobabble, pointing at maps with names of towns that you’ve never even heard of. Talala? Martha? Brushy? Corn. GREASY??? Yeah, Greasy, Oklahoma. There’s even a town called Monkey Island, for crying out loud.

Anyway, absolutely nothing happened, and all the panic was for naught. People were outraged that this devastating storm didn’t take place and felt personally betrayed by the weather guys, as if fluctuating weather patterns are their fault.

Why can’t you just be glad you didn’t have the storm?

I get it, you had to cancel your weekend plans. Boo hoo. It happens! You’re the one who chose to feed the media hype machine. And of course we have little choice but to do so, and I get sucked into it myself. It’s the only time I watch the news. Bad weather makes me paranoid and I allow them to exploit that.

When the “big day” comes, and nothing happens, my relief is almost euphoric. The last thing I’d do is get mad that everything’s not covered in ice.

They were super low-key about covering the second storm threat after the backlash from the previous one, and again, nothing happened, or not much, anyway. The third time was supposed to be really bad, and it rained, sleeted and snowed a little, but then the 60 degree temps the next day melted all of it. No big deal. And I was grateful.

Being angry that the weather people were wrong about a devastating tornado, ice storm, etc is like being mad that you pay for car insurance but have never gotten in a wreck. Just stop it and thank God you and your fellow human beings are safe and sound.


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