Social Media During Major Events Is Cool

So I’m sure that you’ve heard of Sandy, the hurricane that is affecting the Eastern coast of the States. I have definitely heard a lot about it – it’s pretty much the only thing that’s been playing on my news for the past 3 days.

However, it does appear to be pretty major. Tons of flooding, buildings collapsing, forced evacuations. My thoughts are definitely with those whose lives are being affected by this weather event.

The storm has re-demonstrated something to me though – how fast information can travel, and how quickly social media spreads the word. We’ve had CNN on the entire day, waiting for updates as they come. As much repetition that they have, I have to admit that they’re doing pretty awesome coverage, and I feel like I have a way better understanding of what effects the storm is having by watching their demonstrations on how much the water has risen and the intensity of the rain and wind. Also, kudos to those reporters who all stayed outside through this weather in order to report it. They are cool.

But I am amazed once again (and falling in love once again) with how fast information spreads through Twitter. I’ve been following the hashtags #Sandy and #ldnont (London, Ontario) all night, and it is so cool how much information is being delivered to me. Not only am I learning even more about the storm itself, but I’m loving all the immediate updates about my own city. I had instant updates of where lights were out, where rain was effecting the most, and how bad the wind was, all without having to endure the storm myself. When my lights flickered, it was a good feeling that almost immediately there were 30 tweets about others in the city about their lights flickering. Suddenly I wasn’t sitting in my basement by myself during a storm, I was sitting online with a bunch of other people during a storm. I know people say that social media alienates us from others by keeping us at home and remote, but tonight I felt part of my city as people all informed each other of what was going on.

The whole thing just reminded me of why I love social media – because it’s all about information, and the spread of information. We can learn so much and share so much with each other, and I am loving every minute of it.



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