Living in a fishbowl.

Often living on a military base is described with these words. We have lived on three different bases including this one and I can say with certainty that this statement is truer about this particular living situation than I have experienced previously.


This word is synonymous with remote tours for most but for the lucky few it is a Command-sponsored tour giving the family permission to move with the military member. This is a relatively recent development within the last 10 years or so. The land mass of the base has not grown to accommodate the influx of people so the natural solution is to build up. The result is simple: three military family housing towers holding on average 5 to 6 apartments per wing with three wings per floor. The towers have 9, 10 and 13 floors respectively. An important side note is that Osan is a walking base. Every building (and even the flight line) is within walking distance of the housing towers.

I discovered the uniqueness of our living situation not three weeks after moving here. My husband and I were walking to check the mail and I receive a text message stating simply, “I see you.” That brought me right into focus of what we would be dealing with for the next two years. Now, a year later, things are more difficult than I imagined.

Fishbowl and Facebook.

Vicious attacks on character, no compassion for children, missing tolerance for (perceived) misbehavior of every person, Big Brother in every window: an interesting list for a movie, maybe, but not for Real Life. This is commonplace in the Fishbowl with social media.

Last week a good friend of mine was saddened by the (ab)use of social media.  Here, every action, word and seemingly, thought is caught by someone and immortalized on Facebook. Grown-ups attack each other in writing and believe it is acceptable behavior. They hide behind false anonymity, lash out at their neighbors and air the slightest grievance for the internet world to view.

It is completely unacceptable.

I have deleted the Facebook app from my iPhone and limited my perusing the website to five minutes a day. The past two weeks have been quite liberating.

I am not sure where the breakdown of communication began. Where did the face to face conversations disappear to? This whole situation saddens me.

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