Whether we like it or not, social media has become a big part of our lives. This is where we socialize, express ourselves, network, and conduct business. We’ve begun to use social media for just about everything – including the way we receive news. Many users have begun to turn to Facebook and Twitter for current event updates, opting to skip traditional local television news and newspapers in order to get news from social media. This distinct shift has made news available immediately. People around the world don’t have to wait for the morning paper or the 5 o’clock news – they can read 140 character updates right away, making many feel deeply invested in today’s current issues. A specific example that highlights how many people interact and receive news from social media is the Boston Marathon tragedy. In an act to prevent further losses, Boston shut down mobile device services that could possibly set off more bombs. Carriers immediately shut off phone services leaving social media as one of the only ways for family members to get in contact with one another in to confirm their safety. Many family members received updates from Facebook and Twitter letting them know they were safe. The Boston Police also used Twitter as a way to receive tips and to update the public about the situation. Twitter became an important part of the incident. Whether false or accurate, Newsfeeds were flooded with pictures and updates about the situation. People all over the world used social media to get real-time updates and breaking news. This allowed people on the outside to feel very connected to the victims and their families, as well as connected outside viewers to the real terror that gripped Boston during that tragic time. Social media not only served as a news platform, but has assisted the situation by gathering groups from all over the country to help organize charitable events to relieve victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Updates from these charities are constantly posted, and this shows that news happens anywhere and everywhere. Social media has become one of the mainstream ways adults and the younger generation receive their news. It’s amazing to see the rapid growth of social media over time and how popular receiving news from social media now is. Ten years ago, we would have been watching the news from a television source and reading about the tragedy in newspapers the day after. Now, as we receive news from social media, there is no reason to wait for information. Social media has evolved past a place just for socializing and into something that affects how we receive and interact with daily news. Photo Credit
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