Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shaking Up The East Coast

Today, August 23rd 2011, at around 1:50pm, an Earthquake shook the streets of Brooklyn, New York. Interestingly, the Earthquake did not begin in New York, but originated in Virginia.

I was home when the tremors began. At first my house began to creak, and I thought maybe I wasn't the only one home, but then the tremors moved the couch I was laying on, and for a second I questioned my sanity. After the tremors ended, I kept second guessing myself and looking outside the window for signs that someone else had experienced the quake. When no one seemed to notice anything I automatically visited Google.com searching phrases such as "Earthquake in Brooklyn" and "August 23rd Earthquake".

Herein lies my reason for posting.

My first reaction was to go online and search for someone to root me back to the ground. I felt as if I was the only one in the world that experienced the quake, that is until, I visited Facebook.com.

Oh Facebook, how you show your global reach...

Instantly, I was joined my many others that felt the same earthquake, then bloggers began writing, and YouTube videos were created. This all happened within a matter of minutes. While the news anchor was fixing his comb-over, and the seismologist was doing more research. We, the people, began creating news for ourselves.

Hours later, I finally turned on the television, to see what the news anchors had to say. The earthquake was a big topic, but the larger topic was the way in which the public responded. You see I wasn't alone. I wasn't alone in my reaction to go online and find others to share my experience with. The news anchors had live twitter feeds up, and read tweets by people related to the earthquake. The tried and true media outlets were blow away by the public's overwhelming need to share every moment of their lives. The phone lines were down for at least an hour after the small tremors. People calling to check on family members, but more so, the social media networks flooded with people sharing, tweeting, and updating.

We live in a society that is constantly connected. We are informing one another at a rapid rate. The only problem is that it's not always useful information. In most cases, it isn't useful at all.

Everyone isn't a journalist, but everyone has the power to be one. It's all in the keystrokes.