Tuesday evening at 7:18, UNC students received an ALERT Carolina email, which every student opens, regardless of the severity.
However unfortunately last night’s ALERT was severe. The email described a shooting that occurred at 5:11 that night, leaving 3 unidentified subjects dead.
Sitting in Davis Library, I was then exposed to numerous threads of information regarding the incident coming through text message, Twitter and the girls’ bathroom.
The local news station covered the story, and soon I received a phone call from my mother freaking out, angry as of why I didn’t call her.
After making it home safely, and assuring my mom I made it home safely, I went to bed, uneasy of the news.
This morning, I woke up (didn’t miss my alarm clock…cue applause) and checked my phone for texts, Instagram pictures and new Facebook posts.
The new Facebook posts were what got me. There, not only were the 3 victims revealed, but I was disheartened to know that some of my friends knew them.
I consequently followed their trend, and “shared the post.”
I got 27 likes (not bad) and 4 friends shared my link (one from New York, one from Turkey, and two native to NC).
However I, of course, was not the only one sharing the link on Facebook.
By 11 o’clock today, I found on my Facebook wall that Al Jazeera posted an article on the event, followed by BBC, and then much later, CNN.
#muslimlivesmatter is the top “trending” hashtag on Twitter.
Now, at 3:41 PM, there isn’t one post on Facebook that doesn’t involve the incident.
So what does this tell us?
First of all the power of communication is great. It reminds us that even a small town like Chapel Hill, NC, is connected to the rest of the world….and can be within the span of a couple of hours.
It exhibits the power of mass communication, the influence, and the speed at which it travels.
With this piece of information, we have to know that it’s our duty to contribute to the communications world around us, spreading the word that #muslimlivesmatter, #blacklivesmatter, #ALLlivesmatter.
Remember: If your neighbor won’t hear you, the rest of the world will.