“Shocking” Twitter Observation

An interesting thing happened today throughout Northeast Philadelphia, PA… news of an earthquake spread like wildfire. Why do I just say “news”? Because this author didn’t feel the apparent quake. But I digress… my point here is that, for the first time in my Twitter career, I experienced an ’emergency’ unfold within minutes right before my eyes.

Tremors in Bucks County PA and Philadelphia from Earthquake

I was sitting in the cafeteria at Bucks County Technology Park (home of CollisionMax corporate among others). After finishing my grilled chicked with avacado spread wrap, I proceeded back to my office and heard chatter about an earthquake. I thought it was the one reported earlier in the day from Colorado that set their record magnitude of 5.3, so I naturally didn’t pay much attention.

I logged on to Twitter to send along a few tweets… about this blog oddly enough. I posted somewhere around 2pm and three seconds didn’t pass before I was bombarded with local tweets about a shock wave felt in the area. The interesting part about it was the speed of the conversation. It went something like this:

  • Did anyone just feel that?
  • Wow. Did we just have an earthquake in Philly? My house was just shaking.
  • I swear the floor just moved.
  • Earthquake in Philly? Comcast Center is swaying!
  • Yoo We just had a earthquake in Philly!!!! RT RT

I almost expected to start seeing “Another tremor coming”… “Get ready”… “Woah!”… “People are evacuating”… “Go, go, go!”.

Social media is pretty common these days and there are countless articles written about it. Nearly everyone is using it, has used it or wants to use it eventually. I know there’s a ton of available information depending on who you follow/fan/friend but my observations have mainly consisted of casual (sometimes meaningless) dialog, silly games, trivial gossip or funny photos. I suppose this was the first time I saw “word of mouth” travel with such vigor.