The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2o01 brings a mixture of emotions. The memories of that horrible day may be fading, but to the families and friends of those whose lives were lost or forever changed, it has to be as though the events happened yesterday.  I was in the broadcast industry at the time, and though I was in Dayton, Ohio, producing traffic reports for several radio stations,  we were our own nerve center for our city as the events unfolded. I read a couple of interesting posts that ponder what it would have been like if the social media we have today would have been around on that fateful day.

Washington Post publisher Katheryn Weymouth is glad that today’s social media did not exist in 2001, stating:

Most of us learned about the events of that day in one of four ways — by television, by radio, by newspaper, or by a phone call from a friend. And while we are all incredibly grateful for the ways in which technology has enhanced our lives, I think we are also grateful that we didn’t live through 9/11 with all of that technology.

We didn’t have to see live video footage shot from inside the collapsing buildings and uploaded onto YouTube. Cellphones didn’t have cameras back then. … Can you imagine how horrifying it would have been if we had tweets from the victims on the planes or in the offices, or if they had posted to their Facebook pages?

… Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and all the technologies that have yet to be invented make all these events more real, and more horrific. Television pales in comparison. (reported by Jeff Zonderman in Poynter).

Another view comes from a poster in Zombie Journalism, who says “what if?”. What if we did have those final tweets and Facebook posts. Passengers on the doomed aircraft tweeting about what was happening? I would even ask if the F-1s could have been dispatched sooner. One can imagine a memorial wall with last tweets from the aircraft and the burning buildings

In my little world in Dayton, Ohio; we had to at least wonder that with Wright Patterson Air Force Base nearby, if our area could be a target.  I remember rumors of a plane crash in Dayton (not true); huge gas lines as drivers feared a huge spike in prices, and general uneasiness.

As it was, the cellphone became much more of a neccessity after 9/11. The social media were online chat rooms and forums; nothing like today.

If it had existed, my Foursquare checkin at 5:30am would have been “I’m at Metro Networks, 3085 Woodman Dr., Kettering, OH”. I’d have tweeted some accident info and the news of what happened at the World Trade Center and Washington, as well as what was happening locally. We’d have come together even better than we did…or not. (#tcot and #p2…political hashtags.. would have continued screaming at each other).

Never forget.