Online community

Last Saturday evening I stayed in a great hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. I was quite happy staying in, I had my iPad, law and order on tv and some room service.

I channel surfed and saw president Obama’s announcement that after almost ten years, finally Osama bin laden had been caught and executed in Pakistan.

It was a big announcement and news event, one of those that you would look back on after years and think where you were when that happened.

It created a whole big brown bag of feelings in myself, first one of just WOW, then relief, then sadness looking back on why this was such a significant event. Back to 9/11 and all the events and consequences, from conversations with people in the New York area to that damn security, that can make boarding a plane such a pain. Then fear. Fear that has been there since 9/11, that a strike like that was and is possible and fear that there might be retributions soon.

I felt the need to communicate, I sent a text to home in Australia, but there it is night, and there is no reply. A look a the online news sites shows that in Australia and Germany the news has not hit yet.

Tweets started coming through. “Ding dong”, said Jeff Jarvis and the song is immediately in my head. The TV news shows people in New York and in Washington assembling at times square and at the white house. Jubilant shouts of “USA, USA” don’t feel right and do not go with my sad and sombre mood.

More tweets came in, initially just blasting the news, Bin Laden Dead. Then first reflections.
TV news replayed Obama’s announcement and scenes from the countries assembly points, times square, white house and then also ground zero.
Commentators trying to explain what happened, but they had no further material and kept repeating what the President had already said.

Jokes started to appear on twitter. Then some criticism of the jubilations.

I contemplated going down to the hotel bar, but I didn’t. I thought about going down to the street. Traffic and general noise from there increased, as if others had felt the same urge to get out and talk. I didn’t leave my room.

Twitter was my soundboard, mirroring my emotions, keeping me company. Twitter was entertaining, thought provoking, immediate and fully satisfied my need to exchange thoughts and emotions.

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