Just how valuable is Social Media in tragic times?
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, April 15th, 2013 – Patriot’s Day, Social Media reminded us of how important it is to maintain our human connection – especially in times of tragedy.
If I hadn’t had my Facebook account open on my laptop while working in other windows, I wouldn’t have noticed a friend’s notification about the 2 bomb explosions. She is a runner and a police officer, and was keen on the event and therefore a reliable source. Yes, I went to my television to see the live coverage, but I had my laptop with me as I wanted to continue learning more from any social media updates while I was still working. I knew that at least some of my social media friends, followers and connections might have loved ones or someone they knew participating or attending the marathon, or, actually living in Boston. So I also opened my Sprout Social management tool so that I could follow Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook messaging and keyword search feeds all on one page.
It’s about getting closer to the reality
Reading tweets, posts, and updates is not just informative, but it is a keen indicator of the visceral reactions of anyone who has any connection to the incident and the reactions of anyone worldwide who is “listening” on these platforms. Live TV gave the visuals and the reporters updates, but my social media accounts gave me the heart and soul of America – and the world – on the most human level possible.
- Did you track your social media accounts during this horrific incident?
- What value was it to you vs. traditional reporting avenues?
- Did social media offer comfort because of the direct connection to the event?