Social Media’s Impact on a Crisis

Sports Illustrated Boston CoverOn a typical April 15, I would be bogged down in mundane tasks, including getting my taxes postmarked. But instead, this past Monday, I was consumed with the news coming out of Boston. And really, how couldn’t any of us be? My Facebook feed revealed post after post from news outlets trying to to report updates and stories as quickly as they could. But the most important post I came across were from those of my friends in the city. My thoughts immediately turned to are they ok?

Here’s just one example: To my FB world: I’m ok!! Yes, I’m still in Boston. And yes (as many of you know) I’m at my fav Boston hotel (Sheraton Boston) about 5 mins walking from the finish line of the Marathon. Was at the finish line earlier but had left to take a work call so left 10 mins before explosion. They’ve evacuated the Hilton across the street and hotel just called to let me know we’re in lockdown. But I’m ok. It’s chaos here though and I can’t believe this is happening!!

I stumbled across an article by a Boston University student currently studying in Paris. As he states, “In times of crisis, it (social media) serves as a virtual lifeline between friends, cities, states, countries …,” I find myself feeling the same way – I was able to learn (almost immediately) that my Boston friends were ok. In extreme crises – when cell lines ring busy for hours and it impacts the masses – social media offers us, as individuals, the opportunity to community with our loved ones. Makes me wonder what the aftermath of 9/11 would have been like using the power of social media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.