Last week I wrote a post about what is important in life. Yesterday, I watched in shock as social media, and particularly Twitter, went crazy with reports, eyewitness accounts, pictures and comments about the explosions at the Boston Marathon. I actually began writing this post yesterday in the midst of it all, but decided I wasn’t thinking clearly enough.
Today I continued to follow the news and stay up to date on the latest reports of the news reports, press conferences, numbers of victims, and sadly, the death toll. The event is a sad reminder of the reality we live in. After 9/11, we were all wary. But as the years have passed, I think as Americans, we began to feel safe and comfortable again. Until yesterday. I know at least for me, the Boston Marathon tragedy has instilled a fear in me all over again. It reminded me that life is unpredictable and we are not living in safe times.
We are living in very different times now too. During 9/11, we did not have social networks.
When this horrible event happened in Boston, social media was a key source of information from the scene — from both professional and citizen journalists alike. In fact, one of the photos of the second blast was actually tweeted by someone who was there at the scene, and it was picked up by news outlets nationwide.
Thanks to social media, people are able to share the videos and photos they were taking at the time of the bombings. That could very well help officials identify the suspect(s) and bring him/her/them to justice.
Also thanks to social media, we are able to see and read about the good side of people in the face of tragedy — the volunteers who immediately jumped to the aid of the injured and innocent victims; the runners who, after completing a 26.2 mile race, continued running to donate blood; seeing the quick response of the countless first responders who I’m sure made a difference in the death toll from this horrific event.
Yes we are living in different times, scary times, but we are all brought together a little closer through social media. And I know I am very grateful for that link to others to share information, share our feelings, and empathize with each other during times like these.
I’m very fortunate to have met some wonderful people, thanks to social media. One of those people, Michelle Quillin aka (@NEMultimedia), posted something today that made sense to me: “It’s been a rough 24 hrs for all of us in New England,…but these are the trials that awaken our spirits.” So true, Michelle.
But as I said in last week’s post, social media should never take the place of actually holding a loved one and sharing your feelings. Remember there’s no replacement for that. So tonight, put down the tablet, the phone, the laptop, and hug your loved ones a little tighter.
What will you remember most about the Boston bombing?