September 11, 2011 remains an indelible memory for me. I’ll never forget watching the second plane hit the second tower of the World Trade Center. I happened to watch it in real-time, because it was my daughter’s first day of preschool, and I was up early with mother angst. Being from the west coast, I was riveted to the television for days, and felt so helpless to be so far away from ground zero. Later that year I would make the trip to New York to see the devastation for myself. But, even to this day, it is impossible to process.
It is impossible to look back 10 years later and not wonder if things could have played out differently. I have mused for the past 24 hours about how social media may have changed the face of that ill-fated day. Imagine if Twitter were able to reach out to the people in the buildings and urged them to exit immediately. Imagine if the Port authority had used smart phones and text messages to warn those within a 1 mile radius in real-time, ala Amber Alert. Employees had been urged not to panic, and told to stay where they were, but imagine if they had access to real-time information and could make a judgement call for themselves?
Now, to be fair, it may have made goodbyes to loved ones lost even tougher if there was iPhone footage from the 92nd floor. And to put myself in the shoes of widows and children left behind makes me shudder. And hindsight is 20/20.
But I will always wonder if Social Media might have saved more lives that day. God Bless America. Never Forget.