This post on the Los Angeles subreddit got my attention. The initial post hit the top of the total front page, which is where I saw it. LASunFun, a reddit user in Los Angeles, was desperately searching for their father, Jin S. Kang, who disappeared without his wallet, cell phone or any identification. Within two days, 2days, another LA user, found LASunFun’s father nearly five miles away from where LASunFun expected him to be.
The story, aside from being heartwarming, is undoubtedly fascinating.
- The thread has received over 500 comments from various users offering bits of advice and similar experiences.
- The father’s identifying marks were tattoos tied to his gangster life during his youth in South Korea.
- 2days managed to find the missing father and talk to until the police and LASunFun could come collect him.
- 2days refused the reward and is still in contact with LASunFun over the intimate details of Kang’s recovery.
This story is an astonishing human interest bit about the power of our connected world. But no one is covering it.
The LA Times hasn’t picked it up. Not even a blurb.
Newspapers should ideally keep a thumb on the pulse of their city. The new thing isn’t sitting at the bus station or waiting for your contacts to get to you. It’s hidden in the hashtags and new threads. I think this is what the new generation of journalists have to offer the more established journalism world. The old contacts just don’t hold the same amount of stories as they used to– everything has started to shift the seemingly invisible online world.
This is especially prominent in larger cities like LA– although even Columbia’s online presence still offers a few leads. There are posts about food safety at a local restaurant, complaints about the constant fireworks on East Campus , and multiple discussions about the state of internet and cable in Columbia. The days of simply listening in public are fading; these are the new social ties of the modern world– it’s up to us to grab at those threads once again.