On Monday morning, in my social media class, we had a lecture about “Crisis Communications.” On Monday afternoon, the Boston bombing happened.
Talk about eerie timing. I was at work when the actual event occurred, and was therefore able to follow it online in real-time through news outlets and on Twitter. Especially on Twitter. It is insane how much social media has changed the way news is reported. In the days following the bombing when the 2nd suspect was still on the run, people were tweeting pictures from their homes in Watertown like this one:
Seeing pictures like this on my newsfeed makes everything seem so much more real. I wasn’t just hearing about it from news anchors or newspapers the next day–I was hearing about it from people just like me WHILE it was happening.
Here’s a picture that went viral on Facebook:
A story about the man in the cowboy hat ran alongside the picture as it made its rounds on Facebook. He had lost two children in recent years and decided to become a peace activist to help spread the word. When the bomb went off, he rushed to the aid of a severely wounded victim (who was running in memory of the kids from Newton, CT) and did everything he could to help. He is a hero.
As horrific as the bombings were, social media allowed people to see the heroes that arose during such a tragic time. It provided an opportunity to come together as a country. It even helped the police to discover the suspects, as people were able to post personal photos online from the event and draw connections using others’ photos to compare.
I’m proud of these heroic people and wish I could thank each and every one of them. In a time when such atrocities can happen, it’s nice to be reminded that there are still genuinely good people out there.