Social Media and 9/11: On Response, Reporting and Renewal
There is a school of thought that refuses to believe that no person can make a difference in light of horrific tragedies such as the one that happened a decade ago. It might be over-reaching but then social media does make a habit of upending age-old conventions.
Here are 3 reflections on 9/11 and the social media connection:
- Twitter could not have prevented the first plane crash but it could have saved the Twin Towers. This looks into the use of Twitter and other social networks regarding disaster response and there's a feeling of empowerment in being able to use real time information to coordinate actions that might help mitigate the damages caused by both man-made and natural disasters. Of course, certain authorities think it'll add to the chaos but then as 9/11 has shown, no single group is equipped to deal with something like that much less coordinate effectively which makes social media worth a shot.
- Was it CNN's finest moment? Could very well be its last pure correspondent coverage given that news reporting is far too different now that 'people, not network, journalists' are first to report on the scenes as news happens. Of course, there might be factual errors as some would argue but same goes for traditional news. Verdict is still out there on the pros and cons but admit it, the quicker the news, the more valuable it is to most.
- Social media is not an end in itself and with 9/11, it is no exception. From marketing to reporting, a true and meaningful measure of social media is on what happens after, offline. Otherwise, it is all hollow social network friendships which may or may not lead to something of value. Now go and ask yourself this question, "As a result of social media, have I made a real connection - with myself and with others?".
Changed the image because found a better media to celebrate the heroism above the tragedy of 9/11. Thanks to Spike and the kids.