In class we talked about how the internet changes the course of history and the way we get our news. Today there was a great example of this. The death of Osama Bin Laden was a huge point in world history. It was breaking news on the web and television.
Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds were flooded with status updates and picture postings about the death of Osama Bin Laden. Some were positive and rejoice-full, others seemed scared of what is to come, some were upset that he was killed rather than captured, others were humorous. Within about 12 hours of the news, 330,172 people “liked” the Facebook Page “Osama Bin Laden is DEAD”. Other similar pages such as “Osama Bin Laden is dead 5/1/11″, and “Osama Bin Laden is Dead” have hundreds of thousands of people who “like” the page as well. On Twitter the top trends were Osama, OBL, America, Navy Seals, Jack Bauer, Pakistan, Mission Accomplished, Abbottabad, and Wolf Blitzer.
Barack Obama tweeted “About to address the nation. Watch live: http://wh.gov/live.” about an hour before he presented his speech. Millions of Americans tuned in to hear the President speak about the situation on television on live streamed on the internet.
Another point of interest is that the compound where Osama Bin Laden had been hiding was a building of thick walls and no internet or cellular telephone connection. That brings me to wonder, if he had access to the internet, could he have been found quicker? As we are moving into the age where everyone has access to the internet, will our location be available at the drop of a hat. To go unseen when millions of people are looking for someone for a decade, what he seemingly did differently was to live without technology.
Watching the riots and memorial services on the internet and television have been exciting. This is a time of great patriotism and the internet further allows the network of patriotism connecting Americans to Americans and Americans to the rest of the world. I am anxious for more details to come about the death of Osama Bin Laden.