By: Taylor Shawver
As intimidating as the instantaneous aspect of social media can be, there is also immense value behind this feature. On October 31st, New York City experienced a terrorist attack. Now, many would assume the first notification a New Yorker received was through a news station, which to a certain extent remains true; however, many of my coworkers and myself were alerted via Twitter.
That afternoon, my coworker sitting next to me mentioned that there was an attack in lower Manhattan merely minutes prior. I immediately went to Google news to search for any updates, and to my surprise there were none. I asked my coworker where she had heard about this from and she said it was trending on Twitter. Sure enough - there it was. News stations, locals and visitors were tweeting about the incident with live updates. Throughout the day I proceeded to check Twitter for any and all notifications regarding the attack.
The true power of social media lies in the ability to craft a post and spread the word within minutes. This is not always the most beneficial feature, as we’ve seen in the recent political environment; however, access to information with the touch of our fingertips can be life saving. On that day, I was able to notify a friend of mine who lives near the area where the attack occurred before she had any idea what was going on. When she asked where to check for updates, I referred her to Twitter and the trending section.
I know I sometimes forget just how powerful social media can be. Yes, being able to stay in touch with friends, family and acquaintances from all over the world is beneficial; however, we have more access to information than we ever have before. Instead of allowing this feature to slip by, be sure to use it to your advantage. Stay up to date and be aware, because now more than ever there is no excuse to not know what is going on.