Social Media and Feeling the Earth Move

June 25, 2010  |  News

Thousands of Canadians felt the earth move this week.  No really.  The earth moved.  If you didn’t feel the rumble, you sure heard the media – and your friends – talking about it.  A quake measuring a healthy 5.0 on the Richter scale rolled through southern Ontario.  The epicenter was in Ottawa, but thanks to Social Media, it was the shock heard round the world.   People across the province were tweeting and texting and Facebooking their hearts out.  It’s a great example of the way SM comes into play when people are either afraid or facing disaster.  Let me explain… (More…)

According to the Financial Post, the first tweets went out just seconds after the earth began to shake.  Thousands of Canadians received confirmation of the earthquake not from mainstream media outlets, but from Social Media.

Interesting to see how people’s instincts are changing.  As more and more of us embrace social media, our first impulse is not to head for the television set, but instead to pick up our iPhone or to run for the computer.

How the world has changed in a handful of years.   Take 9-11 for example.   On September 11, 2001, the world was glued to CNN.  Nine years later, the world would be getting its updates on Twitter or Facebook – or at the very least on the CNN/local news website.  For all but the oldest of generations, the TV set would likely sit idle in the living room.

It’s a major shift in the way we get our news  — in the way we keep ourselves and our families informed.  How are our mainstream media outlets evolving in order to keep pace?  Waiting for your comments… ;-)

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3 Comments


  1. You are so right! I had never thought of it that way. Our generations instinct is to turn on the radio or TV. But, I know younger kids, some of my babysitters, tweet and text. I can text but barely, and don’t know how to surf on my phone. I need to hire a teenager to walk me through everything or wait till my oldest gets into it all!

  2. Cathie – Welcome to the site, and thanks so much for your great comment! We all remember where we were when something significant rocks our world, don’t we? Earthquakes, Michael Jackson’s death… You name it. And we all have a story to tell. Yours is a great one, by the way. Think of how Social Media is connecting us in smaller communities like yours… Hard to believe, but it seems conventional media as we know it may soon go the way of the do-do bird. Our generation’s first instinct is to turn the radio on, because that’s what we know — what we identify with. The younger generation’s first instinct is to get out their smart phones and send a tweet, or check Facebook.

    The world is changing so much right now, and we have a ringside seat. Look forward to more comments from YOUR seat! ;-)

  3. I didn’t feel the earth move. Lots of people around me did. I was getting my hair cut. The ladies upstairs came out saying “what’s going on? walls and the floors are moving” Someone checked a radio – sure enough a few minutes later it was confirmed an earthquake.
    But, that wasn’t the day’s biggest news. Not by far. I live in Penetanguishene, my husband’s office is in Midland. A tornado touched down. But we couldn’t really get any information because the power was out. So we did what people used to do to find out stuff. We went into town, but we couldn’t get far, traffic was blocked.
    But the next everyone was talking at the local coffee shop. (And, it wasn’t Tim’s)
    I did get updates on facebook and posted my own, when the power finally went back on 21 hours later.

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