Monday, May 2, 2011


There was a note sitting on the kitchen table when I got up for work this morning. With my wacky schedule, that's pretty common. It's often how my wife and I communicate -- I'll find or leave notes like: "Please pick up milk".. or "Don't forget soccer tonight".. or "There's laundry in the dryer."

The message she left for me this morning was a little different: "Osama Bin Laden: Dead." Wow. This is not going to be one of those slow Monday mornings in the news business.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who woke up to that news. Many people went to sleep before the news broke late Sunday. I dozed off while watching the Mets-Phillies game and turned the TV off around 10:00 -- a short time before the crowd at Citizen's Bank Park started chanting, "USA, USA, USA!" It was a sign of our plugged-in times. Fans on their smartphones, finding out about the big breaking news and then sharing the moment, together.

It's another example of just how connected we are. Always. We learn about events as they happen. And anyone can be the source (not always a good thing, but that's another story for another time). Take Sohaib Athar. He's the guy who unknowingly live-blogged the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound on his twitter account. On his twitter page, he says he's "an I-T consultant taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops." Turns out Athar's "hiding spot" was awfully close to Bin Laden's hideout.

But perhaps more important than finding out about things as they happen, is the opportunity social media gives us to react and respond to those events together - to share our emotions, to comfort one another or to celebrate. It's human nature to want share big moments together. It's why baseball fans in Philly started chanting, why people gathered and waved flags in New York City and outside the White House. And it's what millions of others did on twitter and facebook. Check your timeline or newsfeed -- there is true sense of community.

And it's impossible not to think about 9/11 and the shock, sadness, fear and anger that accompanied it.  It makes me wonder what that Tuesday morning might have been like, had we had those social media platforms...

Today's Title: Stereo MCs

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