MySpace, Facebook – Putting a “Face” on Tragedy

Let’s be honest first and foremost, it’s hard to talk about anything or even write anything that attempts to find the “good” in the aftermath of a tragedy.

There is no good in the act that ripped through Virginia Tech’s campus on Monday morning. It was shocking, horrific and numbing. We all watched our desktops and televisions closely as the horror unfolded. It’s a new date for the history books, one that will change the way we think of 04.16.2007 forever.

I drove home last night listening to NPR, still trying to put all of the pieces together. Then it hit, “It’s being called the first tragedy of the MySpace era”. Listeners young, old and in between were then thrown into a debate about social networking sites and how they are revolutionizing the way people communicate.

For the first time – ever – I listened to a national news story about the good in MySpace and Facebook. Users were commended for their quick use of the sites to spread the word that hadn’t yet reached their peers. Users were commended for helping America grieve in this time of tragedy. Users were commended for putting painfully real faces on this tragedy – faces that catapulted America out of its numbness to this crisis.

It’s a timely message in the aftermath of an act that would be best timed if it had never happened. “So what’s next?” they asked repeatedly on the radio. A lot of PR, a lot of mourning and the hope for a lot of answers. Time is the only thing that can heal the wounds of this situation. However, professionals across the country have finally realized that time is something that they no longer have. The time to adapt to the changes of today’s media landscape has passed.

I know I’m not alone here at Oneupweb in saying that we send our sincere condolences to all of those who are suffering.