Newtown shooting draws new voices to social media

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/15/us/shooting-social-media-debates/index.html

And also a video about social media reaction after the shooting: http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/newtown-school-shooting-social-media-reaction-17998039

A cruel shooting happened last Friday morning on December 14, 2012 in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and 7 adults were killed. After this second-deadliest school shooting case in U.S. history, social media quickly spread this terrible sad news and led to hot discussions. What’s different from former shooting cases’ social media discussion, it also evoked some deeper considerations about the gun control policy and psychological health of American people.

According to the article, because of the unbelievable toll of the shooting, or the innocence snatched from the children or many other reasons, even those who usually keep their political views to themselves had something powerful to say. Something about the tragedy turned many people from observers to advocates. Many people who mainly posted family photos and avoided to post any political opinions has made a great change this time.  For example, some people posted self declaration like “I normally don’t post anything related to gun control or politics, but this has to stop. We need to wake up and change.”, and another wrote “For the longest time, I didn’t have a problem with people owning guns, but after yesterday, I definitely changed my views a little bit. If this isn’t a wake up call, I don’t know what is.” Some others also commented that in order to prevent insane crime like this, government and citizens should focus more on psychological health.

I am very grieving for the loss of 27 valuable human life and very astonished at the cruelty of the killer. Beyond the discussion above, what it brings to me is, we can do better than just convey feelings on social media platforms, and actually, we can make a difference by daily efforts. For this shooting case, the pain that people suffered made them to announce anti weapon declaration, but before that, they actually took less care about these public and political issues on social media. But the reality has warned us, it is never a good time to easily say “bloody experiences are best lessons”, we are not affordable of any tragedies like this. If we could arouse more attentions on gun control and mental health issue by social media long before that, maybe we could successful forced a firmer public opinion on this issue to support gun control, and healed the lonely insane 20 years old young killer to view the society in a more normal way. And that means, we could have saved that 27 beautiful life.  I think everyone is responsible for a better society, to announce own voice and making a difference. No matter it is about environment protection, human rights, recovery after disaster, or disease prevention. Social media need to stress on more severe concerns about public welfare and world’s well-being, and that requires every tiny awareness on those platforms to make a better stronger voice trend.

My question is,

  1. Do you think people should aware of more public responsibilities on social media platforms?
  2. How strong do you think these tiny efforts on social media could effect on real life? In other words, do you believe we can make a change upon social media?
  3. What should we do on social media platforms to prevent more tragedies?
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