Where Were You? Students' Stories of the Boston Marathon Bombing • An ICMPA Media Literacy Project
I think overall the experience of the Boston Marathon bombing and the following events brought to life what we have really been discussing all semester, the omnipresence and extreme influence of the media. I had happened to be talking to my best friend from high school (we had actually been very good friends since first grade) earlier that day. He goes to Tufts University, and he was bragging to me about how he had off of school and was going to watch the Marathon while I was in class. So, when I heard about the bombing while causally flipping through my twitter feed on my way back to my dorm around 3 p.m. on Monday, naturally I was rather worried. My fears went away, however, when I got a text from him that read, “I’m okay, this is [messed] up.” At the time, I was really just relieved that my friend was okay, but upon reflection, this (albeit somewhat) personal experience really made me think about the entire course of events and how much technology has expanded the media into our lives.
It’s crazy to think that events with such large implications are first revealed to people through social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, when these sites are often times not thought of as sources of news. Also, the fact that I was able to be sure minutes after the tragedy that my friend was okay is a pretty ridiculous thought in itself, something we probably don’t think about very often. This trend continued as the events unfolded later in the week. I was out with friends Thursday night so I wasn’t paying attention to any real news, but I woke up Friday morning to tweets and Facebook statuses talking about Boston, so I then proceeded to type “Boston” into Google news and get up to date. I also knew about the chase of the second suspect due to rather aggressive tweets I saw around 7-8 pm on Friday. This is simply the way things work in today’s society.