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Sep 11

Social Media in the post 9/11 world

This article started my thought process… 9/11 In A Social Media World: How The Times Have Changed

The absence of social media 10 years ago – what did we miss since tweeting, facebook, and texting were not widely used?

This is another posting that is relevant; it compares 9/11/01 with the day Osama was killed in May 2011.

This NYTimes article contrasts the communication methods used by the masses on 9/11 and today (the 10th anniversary)

My thoughts? I have not formulated my opinion on social media yet – but I use it! I email, maintain several websites, Facebook, tweet and IM. Oh yeah, this is a blog post! 🙂 And if you’re reading this, you use social media as well.

Cell phones were common – but smartphones were not: no texting, no camera, no video, no instant messages. To get information to family and friends, you called them. To search for missing co-workers and family members on 9/11/2001, people put up posters in New York City. Communication was experienced with the same kind of relative delays that asynchronous short wave radio uses. The data must make a complete circuit and only one person could talk at a time. How different from today – when we are bombarded with text messages and emails and tweets and phone calls! Can you imagine not hearing from a family member for minutes and hours and days after a catastrophic event? We expect our family and friends to connect with us immediately – we’re always on, always in touch…

I’ve heard that technology is increasing in developments and formats and possibilities and speed exponentially. If that’s true, the advancements and changes we’ve seen in these last 10 years will be small relative to those that will happen in the next 10 years. Who knows? We may have the Star Trek-type computer access – and a teleporter would be really cool!

On the other hand, I actually enjoy a face-to-face conversation now and then. And sometimes it’s good to hear someone’s voice on the phone. And I absolutely loved getting a personal letter in the mail – not a bill or a form letter or an advertisement – but something personalized and handwritten just to me.

So…social media is here. It’s like releasing the feathers from a pillow into the wind. Our ‘normal’ is a break-neck pace of constant communication. What will ‘normal’ be in 2021? Who knows – but I’m going to hang on and try to keep up! 🙂