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Come On Canada! What If It Was Your Child? #AmberAlert

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Amber Alert LogoLast night, while watching tv, an Amber Alert flashed up on the television screen.

Actually, this Amber Alert screeched into the living room, literally making me jump the first time it came on.

Over the next hour (or so), this alert interrupted regular television programming a few times – updating the alert whenever new information was received.

I had seen/heard many Amber Alerts in the past, but I had never seen anything like this “enhanced” Amber Alert before. Changes to the Amber Alert system in 2015 mean that Amber Alerts will now interrupt television and radio programming, and automatically be broadcasted across social media channels.

The whole purpose of an Amber Alert is to alert the general public about the abduction of a child – and alert them as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence when it comes to getting information out about a child abduction.

In my opinion, there is no greater use for social media than when a child has been abducted and an Amber Alert has been issued. If you’ve ever seen it in action, social media is an phenomenal way to spread an Amber Alert, reaching thousands of people in a matter of minutes.

It is truly amazing to sit back and watch the power of social media and how everyone works together to share, tweet, and retweet, an Amber Alert.

Last night as I tweeted and shared the Amber Alert, I began to feel all “warm and fuzzy”, not about the horrific reason for my tweets, but because it was so inspiring to see Canadians (and even some of my US friends!) working together to try to find this boy and bring him home safely.

I had a moment of great pride in my fellow Canadians.

Unfortunately, that moment did not last very long. That’s when Twitter took me to the dark side, in a similar way it did back in October 2015.

I couldn’t believe it but, I actually started to see tweets with Canadians COMPLAINING about the Amber Alert, and how it was interrupting their television shows. Some were even mad at the cable providers because their PVRs did not continue to tape their show during the alerts.

Come on Canada! Complaining about your television show while a young boy is missing?!

What if it was YOUR child?

Hey, I can understand a moment of frustration when your show is cut off but, once you realize the reason behind the interruption, should that not squash all that anger? After all, a child was missing!

Aren’t we better people than that, Canada?

I was so shocked by what I was seeing in my Twitter feed, I started taking snips of the tweets I was seeing. I could have kept “snipping” all night, but I stopped. You only need to read a few of the tweets to understand that not everyone was concerned for this boy’s safety.

I omitted any identifying information for those whose tweets were, what I would call, selfish (that’s being nice). I am not wanting to stir up more online negativity.

This was the first tweet I read under the hashtag #AmberAlert that really got my blood boiling. I have a response to this but, I would have to black out all the text if I included it here.


Then there was this one.


This one does have a good point, however, they are not considering a couple of things. First, someone watching tv at home could help by popping online and quickly sharing the Amber Alert on their social media channels. Second, why notify 20 times? That’s because YOU may have seen the alert but, the hundreds of other Canadians who tune into their tv or radio at different times may have missed the previous alerts.

This tweet has a valid point for some people. PTSD is a serious disorder and sudden, loud noises, can cause great distress for those suffering from PTSD. I still feel an Amber Alert is more important at that moment in time. For anyone upset by the noise, they could easily turn down, or turn off, their tv or radio.


True, the police did not seem to know the exact age of the child, but in the grand scheme of things, does that really matter? A child was missing and they had other identifying information, including the type of vehicle the child was in. Why was the Amber Alert getting so much attention? That’s a question no one should have to ask.


For the very first time ever, I actually had some sympathy for the cable companies. This was just one example of what I saw. An Amber Alert is NOT dictated by the cable companies. It’s a government/police initiative. Even if the message comes on our screens a half-dozen times, we can easily get rid of it. Pressing a button on our remote is not difficult.


Thankfully I also saw many great tweets that restored my faith in humanity!

This tweet was well said.


I loved this one…especially with the use of the hockey sticks!


This one from Eric Alper was terrific!


Apparently, police departments/911 received calls during the Amber Alert from people complaining about the alert interrupting their tv show. Wow. Not only should someone NOT be complaining about an Amber Alert, no one should be tying up police resources calling them to complain about this!


Then there was this. My favourite tweet that I saw last night. This one acknowledges that the alert was annoying BUT that’s exactly the way it should be! Alerts are supposed to catch your attention, and that is what this one did!


Thankfully, it turns out that this child, who was the subject of this Amber Alert, was located safe and sound. Great news! So often a situation like this does not turn out so well.

Please remember that, sometimes, the police have a tough job trying to decide if a situation like this warrants an Amber Alert.

Let’s not make that job tougher by being a nation of armchair critics.

If you wish to help do more during future Amber Alerts, you can sign up for the Missing Kids Alert which provides Amber Alerts direct to you via your social media feeds, email, fax, or text.

Please take a moment to read about Nicole. She has been missing since the 80’s.

A huge thank you to all my readers/followers who took the time to tweet and share this Amber Alert. Your efforts were truly appreciated!


  1. May 12, 2016

    Linda Thoren

    Maybe if people went outside once in a while, pedophiles who count on kidnapping unattended kids would be found sooner because they would be seen in that area.. I live in Wisconsin, in Stevens Point. This community even calls people on the phone to relay their alerts. Besides Amber Alerts, we have Silver Alerts for seniors who have wandered away. When an Alert comes around, I feel sick and go outside an search my area, like around the block. Your deep concern heartens me, because I have faith that everyone in the community will be helping. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

  2. March 10, 2016


    Maybe if all countries demonstraits the same annoying way of anouncing a missing person, or amber alert. Well maybe the annoyance will piss people off just enough for them to take a stand and put an end to all the human trafficking, kidnapping, & amber alerts. Then we will have very few alerts to be annoyed with..

  3. March 9, 2016


    My opinion

    Anyone who tied up Police lines to complain about the Amber Alert ,should be charged with misuse and abuse of the communication system.

    • May 12, 2016


      No one should be tying up police resources for complaints like that, that’s for sure, Anne. Awful.

  4. March 9, 2016


    WTH is wrong with you Canada?!?!

    I assume none of those people complaining have kids! It was the same way 9/11 happened & no one was complaining about the live feeds then.

    With all the evil in this world, when a child goes missing (and you have a heart) you try to help get them home, period!

    I wasn’t on Twitter last night but I see a familiar face that was putting people in their place & I’m glad that other Canadians reacted. A TV show can be watched by going to other sites that HAVE recorded them. A child’s life can easily be lost! I’m beyond belief that our country has turned to an eye to such a thing like it’s normal!

    Great post Sandy 🙂

    • March 9, 2016


      Thanks so much, Jason! I saw a tweet from someone who complained that it upset their kid (the blaring sound). Wish I had saved that one! So yes, some with kids were complaining too. Unreal. I do understand the frustration in certain cases but, there are things you can do to remedy the problems (turn off the tv). What I truly don’t get is calling the police to complain. Come on! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Jason!

  5. March 9, 2016

    Erin Rolfson

    Thank you for articulating this so well! Good for you for standing up for what’s right. And shame on those people complaining. Shame!

    • March 9, 2016


      Thanks so much, Erin! I was very passionate about this! Appreciate you stopping by to share your thoughts!

  6. March 8, 2016


    Great post! I totally agree with you on loving the new Amber Alert, it’s a great way to alert all the people so we can come together and help save a child. I too was shocked with all the complaints and couldn’t believe it! No show or program is more important then saving a child’s life and ur right what if it was your child u would want it blasted everywhere.

    • March 9, 2016


      That’s just it, Sandy. I don’t think some of these people really were stopping to think “what if it were my child/grandchild?” I would want an alert blasted repeatedly if a child I knew was missing. You have to work fast when a child goes missing! Thanks for sharing your comments, Sandy!

  7. March 8, 2016


    A child was missing so an Amber Alert was issued.!!! What can be more important than that…
    Obviously, for some people, watching a TV soap opera which I’m sure will be replayed.
    People’s priorities are definitely skewed and the immediate gratification of social media just seems to bring out the worse in people.
    I really thought that my fellow Canadians were better than this.

    • March 9, 2016


      I thought so too! Hey, I love tv shows too but, a child’s life that may be in danger is much more important. As you say, some people’s priorities are definitely skewed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, InspiredByMyMom!

  8. March 7, 2016

    Emily Smith

    I don’t know why I am shocked when I see the dark side of social media…but every time, I am stunned. I gasp. I wince. I furrow my brow and think…what the?? Calling the police over the amber alert? Complaining because of a loud noise on your TV? We’re lucky we live in a country where our TV isn’t used my our government to blast propaganda 24/7 – but rather cares for the lives of its citizens by disrupting as many people’s nights as possible in an attempt to arise the masses, the communities, and our attention to the most pressing need of all: a life that could be saved. Thankfully this story has a happy ending. I’m thankful that we have these measures in place. Every life matters…so much more than fiction or mindless entertainment. xo

    • March 9, 2016


      All of what you said is so true, Emily. I know exactly what you mean. I don’t know why I’m always so shocked and surprised…but I am every time this sort of thing happens. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  9. March 7, 2016


    ooops.. sorry for some of the grammar, spelling etc. in my post.. I was just so upset when I read about the people being annoyed and calling the police station about the Amber Alert and I wanted to respond so badly… Thank-You

    • March 9, 2016


      Gosh! No need to apologize, Patricia! That happens to me when I’m passionate about something and I try to type out a comment too fast 🙂

  10. March 7, 2016


    Hello everyone… I immediately got on social networks & posted the Amber Alert along with a very bright amber alert picture to get people’s attention. We do not get local TV stations but only one station from western Canada and the Amber Alert still came on.
    We are 2 hours south of Orillia and I could (((not))) type fast enough to my friends n also hoping my friends in Orillia and around etc. would see my post. Now that I heard the first one I will know what to expect the next time. I don’t like thinking there will be a next time but this is reality as sad as it is.
    Those people that were annoyed with the interruption out to be ashamed of themselves!!! I was so relieved when I heard the final Amber Alert cancelling out the alert and the boy was found safe and sound!!!! Then another alert came on asking for the public’s help about the abduction! Thank goodness they stepped-up with having the alert on all TV’s and radios as we all are not driving on the 401 reading the Amber Alerts!!

    • March 9, 2016


      Thanks so much for your part in helping to spread the word on social media, Patricia! You just never know who might be able to help! I just saw a note on FB yesterday from a friend who actually was able to assist police with another Amber Alert as she was driving beside the suspect vehicle on the highway when she heard the alert! You can’t tell me these things don’t work! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

  11. March 7, 2016


    My daughter was upset by the noise and then the reason for the alert but it was a good learning opportunity for her. Sure, it was annoying but priorities people! If I was the parent of that child, I would want it to be a constant alert until my child was found.

    • March 7, 2016


      Exactly Meghan! I would want constant alerts too – no matter how irritating they were! Yep – priorities people! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  12. March 7, 2016

    Teresa Coppens

    I first heard the alert on my radio. It had the same screeching quality that scared both my son and I at first. We both completely understood when we realized what it was. It certainly is designed to get your attention. It is a very good thing. As soon as we heard it on the TV we knew what to expect.

    Too bad if some were “inconvenienced”. Anything to save a child takes precidence!

    • March 7, 2016


      You’ve got that right, Teresa! Anything to help a child in danger! The buzz (especially the first one) is very annoying but, like you said, it’s like that to get your attention. If they played a nice soothing tune instead, most of us wouldn’t bother looking or listening to the message. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  13. March 7, 2016


    wow, get over it people. It’s a tv show, someone’s child has been taken!! Obviously one takes priority here!

    • March 7, 2016


      I may have actually uttered those words, Jen! Yes! Some people’s priorities are not exactly where they should be. Luckily, most people aren’t like that. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. March 7, 2016


    We don’t have cable but I wouldn’t be upset over an amber alert, that’s so important. Thankfully the boy was found shortly after I saw the alert online. It’s true so many many cases do not come out happy endings. Glad this one did.

    • March 7, 2016


      First…you are smart not having cable (cost-savings!), and second, yes, the Amber Alert is way more important (as much as we all love our tv shows!). I’m so glad this one had a happy ending too, Alyssa! Thanks for stopping by!

  15. March 7, 2016

    Elizabeth Vlug

    Wow, we need to get our priorities straight. It really saddens me to think how self absorbed and selfish some human beings are. I have to believe that these people are in the minority. Hopefully….

    • March 7, 2016


      Thankfully, these negative tweets were in the minority from what I saw. That being said, there were enough negative tweets to rile me up…and it takes a lot to do that! I have to believe too, Elizabeth. There are still a lot of caring and compassionate people in this world – one of them being you! Thanks for sharing your comments!

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