Internet's Role Amid Chaos
The virtual world allows students and families to come together no matter where they are in the country or the world, sharing their emotions and thoughts for loved ones. Others are frantically trying to confirm their friends are OK. Sites like Facebook have memorials and tributes, providing a release for some and a chance to reach out to the Virginia Tech community and beyond. One student, Chris, wrote: "Today we are all Hokies," a reference to the Virginia Tech mascot.
I also had the chance to interview two Virginia Tech students yesterday, part of a handful who managed to keep the student-run news site Planetblacksburg up and running -- Madison Van Duyne and Kevin Cupp -- even while under lock down. They both agreed that the Web was like their TV as they searched for answers in the early hours of the crisis. For many students, their cell phones and computers acted as a window to the outside world during the aftermath. E-mail and text messaging was their voice at times, acting as a digital lifeline.
All a case of technology helping cut through the chaos on a day with so much confusion.