You may have noticed it over the past few months.
We certainly have.
The increase in the number of missing people - especially teenagers - being reported in the city of Kamloops.
To the reactionary, it is disconcerting, maybe even troubling.
Where are all these people going?
Are they going of their own volition, or are they being forced?
It becomes much less troubling, though, with a little thought.
Teenagers run away.
They get upset at their parents and they take off.
Most of the time, they are gone just long enough to realize life is a lot bigger than getting hassled about homework or boyfriends or being on their phones all the time.
They come home 24 hours later, still angry, but scheming a different way to let mom and dad now they're, like, serious.
For adults, a disappearance usually indicates some domestic dysfunction playing itself out.
Occasionally, there are real, specific reasons to worry for a missing person's safety, whether it is a downturn in mental health, or a disappearance so completely without explanation, it must be sinister.
There is, however, no reason to believe these missing persons cases are actually on the increase.
In fact, they are simply being reported to the media by the RCMP more frequently, and we are gobbling them up and spitting them out thanks to our voracious appetite for content.
The RCMP, their media relations officers, and we in the media are using missing persons cases to help justify our existence.
The majority of these cases will solve themselves.
That's not to say the other ones don't deserve attention, but don't think there is some epidemic of missing people in Kamloops.
Unless, of course, the circus comes to town.
We all need a job, right?