This week at CCSU, we experienced a very unfortunate scare involving, what we thought, was a man in a mask walking on campus and specifically into James Hall Dorms with a gun. Social media played a large role in this experience. I was lucky enough to be home that morning so I never felt like I was in immediate danger.
I found out about the lockdown on campus through social media, not the news. After I had found on my Twitter feed, I immediately went to the CCSU website and realized it was shutdown as well. At first I panicked, along with the rest of the people on social media. In a matter of hours the scene had become so known it was nationally trending. I believe that it is great that students use social media to reach out to one another, however I was very disappointed in the accuracy of the content posted. Students, news and officials all had no idea what was happening therefore people should not have been reporting on something they knew nothing about. People were posting that they heard shots fired, which clearly could not have happened seeing as how it was a fake gun and a young man in a halloween costume. I believe that we all need to be held accountable for the accuracy of information during a crisis, so that we do not elevate a situation that does not need to be elevated. Also, I think it is important that students understand that using their phone in a real situation could have been potentially harmful to them so being sure to be discrete is important.
I also think that the use of social media in this instance really shows how important and crucial social media is to reaching the masses. It proved to be very effective in the how quickly messages were seen, I believe that a better plan for social media platforms should be created for times of crisis to ensure that the right information is being presented. My heart went out to everyone who believed the situation to be more dangerous than it was and hope that no one was severely affected by the hype. What are your thoughts?
- CCSU lockdown: Central Connecticut State University on high alert – New York Daily News (nydailynews.com)