When an earthquake strikes, what’s the first thing that Americans do? Seek shelter? Nope. They tweet. Twitter exploded with tweets within seconds of yesterday’s earthquake in Virginia. The powerful 5.8 quake was felt as far North as New York City.
This “tweet first, safety second” attitude is nothing new. If anything, it gets slightly worse with each disaster. The cartoon below mocks how tweets travel faster than the earthquake itself.
The tweet by @RobM163 mentioned in the last frame of the cartoon is real. He tweeted “Huge earthquake here!” referring to the 7.2 Baja, California earthquake of 2010. It’s unknown if he sought safety before tweeting.
Let’s all make a promise to each other to try to seek safety from fire, earthquake or other situations before using social media. Otherwise rescue workers might end up pulling an iPhone from your cold dead hands with a half composed Twitter message that says “OMG! Huge #Earthqu….”