If you're horrified right now, raise your hand. I'm guessing the entirety of the Internet just did. Because I did, and I'm holding the back of my shoulder and waving my hand aggressively while I do it.
It's been a scary week. I, like you, have no idea where to even begin. Bombs are going off. Martial law is practically in order. And the fact of the matter is…
I don't know what's going on. From minute to minute…hell, second to millisecond, I am told 4,398 new things that have happened by people I don't know on 4,398 social and news networks, and I just have no idea what's going on. And that's just it: a lot of us, honestly, have no idea what's going on. And that's okay.
What I do know is that what's going on is horrific. It's scary, it's humbling, and it makes America seem like a teeny tiny place. Boston isn't a city anymore, It's just America. If there's anything we can be proud of, it's that something horrific is going on, and we're stopping everything just to be good people. For the most part.
Like a lot of you, I followed the Watertown/Marathon bomber manhunt live on Twitter last night. To say following it in real time was unreal would be the largest understatement on the planet. The amount of times I pulled to refresh was an odd precursor to how I assume I will get my breaking news for the foreseeable future. What was more strange than that were the tweets in the middle of the feed. The tweets that were going on in the middle of something atrocious.
"And then the news outlets caught up with the rest of us. Welcome. We're sorry if the coffee's already cold. Been here a while."
"Twitter has officially replaced all the news networks. Just now. #watertown"
Look, I'm a Twitter junkie. Sometimes I wonder if my love for it has grown larger than a teenager's love for porn, for the very reason that's becoming clear amidst this tragedy: it's a strange, addicting voyeuristic view into everyone's life in real time. It's real life as a movie. In times of crisis? It can be a wonderful, educating thing. But it can also be something that's accidentally irresponsible.
People have been using it to report false things. People have been using it to spread hate to minorities. Like any free speech "thing", they've been using it exactly how they're allowed to use it. Combine how it's been a positive and how it's been a negative, and when this is all over, we'll have hundreds of interesting classes to teach and lessons to learn about the future of news and journalism and everything. Repeat: when this is all over.
Just…not now. Let's not take time right now to waste breath on how "pathetic" the dinosaurs of media are for not getting things 115% right, right away RIGHT NOW. Let's not take this time to say how horrible they are at their jobs. They, just like you, are a bunch of humans who, believe it or not, need to sleep from time to time. And eat. And they may have family in this. And they may, just like you, be human beings who are struggling to understand what's happening. So for now, let's just make a deal.
Let's be hippies. For this moment, let's just be positive, and tell the people we love that we love them. Let's tell people we DON'T love that we love them. Let's not be a republican or a democrat. Someone who's NEENER NEENER for guns or someone who's NEENER NEENER against them. Just…stop. It doesn't matter if the people who did this were white, or black, or brown, or yellow or pink polka dot-ed. They aren't nice people, and the rest of "all of the people" should come together to prove that we don't care about that part.
Be thankful that we're okay, and more importantly, that in horrible times, we can be reminded that Americans are inherently good. We take care of our friends, our family, and the smelly guy on the bus. We take care of Americans, because we believe in each other and the country we live in.
Let's be thankful that right now, in the midst of everything terrible, we're just a bunch of people who want to make sure that everyone who is a person is okay.
We can talk about all of that other stuff later. Okay? Just, not now.
Be a hippie for a minute, guys. Send your thoughts and prayers and anything else's to everyone who's been affected and to the state of Massachusetts.
We're with you, Boston. We're with you.