On September 11, 2001 I was alerted to the news by the phone. I was living in DC at the time, and my friend and roommate (who worked a block from the White House) called. She called several times, as I was still unemployed and not exactly a morning person. If I remember correctly, she left a message on the answering machine (yes, answering machine. Not voice mail.) My other room mate and I got up and turned on the TV; a TV that had an antenna made mostly from coat hanger and foil.
On May 1st, 2011 I was also alerted to the news by my phone. I was about to go to bed when I checked my Twitter feed and saw someone saying something about the President making an announcement at 10:30. So I turned on my TV (which is probably older than the TV I had in 2001, but is connected to cable). Throughout the evening I kept checking Twitter and Facebook while flipping channels for different coverage.
Ten years ago I turned to my friends to hug them and cry and wonder what was happening and fear for the future. We dialed family and friends over and over till we could finally get through. We talked to neighbors we hardly knew.
Last night I tweeted, "Almost 10 yrs ago I was unable to turn away from the news and feeling like I didn't know what to think. This feels like that, but different." I was alone, but still able to turn to others for conversation.
Ten years ago we did not go online to get information. We still had dial-up, and it was hard enough to get through on the phone lines to friends and family.
Last night I was on Twitter and Facebook and Wikipedia and CNN.com and NYTimes.com and myriad other sites looking for information.
Ten years ago I sat on my couch, with my arms wrapped around my knees, trying to figure out was happening and wondering what the larger implications for the world were.
Last night I sat on my couch, with my arms wrapped around my knees, trying to figure out was happening and wondering what the larger implications for the world were.
The technology has changed, but the emotions are the same. The channels for getting information are different, but the need for information is the same.