I got home last night a little after 10 PM. Got online, checked Facebook and Twitter, and saw where someone said that President Obama was supposed to address the nation soon. Presidential speeches don’t happen often at 10:30 on a Sunday night, so I found the White House live feed and waited.
The speech was delayed until 10:45, then kept getting pushed back. In the mean time, news of Osama bin Laden’s death blew up on Twitter. Before long, it was all over Facebook. By the time President Obama actually made the announcement at 11:30 PM, most of us knew what was coming.
I’ve been on Facebook for about 5 years, and Twitter for about 2 years. There have been some significant events during that time, but nothing with quite the magnitude of this news.
It was amazing to watch it unfold. Some people rejoiced, while others condemned those who were rejoicing for being unChristian. Still others (myself included), tried to post things that were a bit humorous (example: I posted “Where were you when bin Laden was announced dead?” “I was seeing what everyone on Facebook and Twitter had to say”).
It is unknown as to how many people found out the news through one of these social media platforms. I’m sure there were other people like me who kept checking both Facebook and Twitter to see what had to be said. The speed at which the news circulated was amazing; within 10 minutes of it breaking, Osama bin Laden was a trending topic on Twitter worldwide (meaning he was one of the top topics on Twitter around the world).
This was likely the first major news story to be broken and circulated primarily through social media. It all happened so fast, and because it was so fast, a lot of people are probably looking back this morning and wishing they hadn’t said what the did say.
Just like everything else in life, social media reveals the nature of our hearts when we don’t take time to become more like Christ. In those moments of pressure, when we feel like we have to comment on the news, we say something rash, arrogant, or hurtful. Then we are left spending days attempting to somehow clean up the mess we made.
Be diligent in the development of your walk with Christ. Also be diligent to read books without pictures so that you are mentally developed. So next time you are under pressure-whether digital or otherwise-something of value and wisdom will come out.
Here are a few articles related to the death of Osama bin Laden and social media
Twitter User Accidentally Live Reports Raid
Google Maps Shows Where Osama bin Laden was Killed
Timeline: How News of Osama bin Laden’s Death Unfolded on Twitter