Where Were You? Students' Stories of the Boston Marathon Bombing • An ICMPA Media Literacy Project
I was simply browsing Facebook in class, a standard day to day activity of mine, when my initial awareness of the Boston Marathon bombing incident came. A status of a friend simply said “Bombs went off in Boston! I hope everyone is ok”, and included a Twitter link to some on-site images. At this time, all I could make out was smoke and people running in what seemed to be a highly chaotic situation. With almost no details I ran a quick Google search and saw only more Twitter statuses, and seemingly no legitimate news articles about the circumstance. This gives a good relative perception about how quickly I was able to catch on to the events through social media. Before any type of technical legitimized journalism even took place, I was already aware of a national situation accompanied by on-site imagery. This is a testament to how powerful social media is as a journalistic tool.
After this initial phase of confusion lasting mere minutes, national and world news began to get a hold of viable information and began publishing. This is when I began to learn details, such as the number of explosions, casualty estimates, and other facts, etc. At this point I was returning home from class following the situation live via iPhone. I walked into my house to find my good friend crying on the couch. She has a great deal of family in the area as well as some friends who participated in the marathon. Seeing her so distraught was really what hit this situation home for me and made me feel the grip of tragedy.
In light of all of this, I saw some incredibly positive things. The pace and vigor at which philanthropic actions for Boston took place within my group of friends and acquaintances was very heartening. Along with this, seeing people come together to support these causes was also a powerful incentive for me to keep my head up about the situation. No matter what they may attempt to inflict on us, hope will always be overwhelming as a force.