Last Tuesday, I was sitting in my dorm room when my bed started to shake.
It felt as if someone was underneath the mattress, shaking it, and I seemed to be riding on a wave. The feeling lasted only a few seconds, and I questioned if someone was just pushing the wall behind me or moving furniture.
Searching for answers, I pulled up TweetDeck on my laptop. I soon realized I was not alone, and people all around Greater Boston felt the same thing. They took to Twitter with one question:
It was, in fact, an earthquake, and Twitter users shared their experiences at a rapid pace. The first two columns of my TweetDeck setup are Boston-area news lists, which loaded with updates so fast that the left side of my computer screen looked like a slot machine after the tremors.
Within about ten minutes, people began posting tweets with information about the epicenter and magnitude of the quake, citing the US Geological Survey.
Though it was initially deemed to be a 4.5 in magnitude, the quake later was downgraded to a 4.0. There was no damage in Massachusetts, but the temblor stirred up much excitement and curiosity in the Bay State.
For me, it was representative of the tremendous power of Twitter. News of the quake broke fast on the platform. Clearly many people possessed an instinct to take to Twitter and share their experience.
Twitter has tremendous potential as a source for sharing and reading news across a community. The Oct. 16 earthquake’s greatest significance, therefore, may just have been proving that fact.