Never in my life have I experienced such a tangible wave of collective consciousness.
I took a very brief break from my WIP to check twitter, and the news that President Obama was about to address the nation was on everyone’s proverbial lips. Thankful that I also follow NBC News, I only had to wait moments before they tweeted.
Yes, it’s not a rumor. The President will address the nation at any minute… but what will he say? Rumors ran rampant. I quipped that perhaps President Obama was simply using his “major announcement” to interrupt Celebrity Apprentice and show Donald Trump who the real boss is!
I entered the stream of consciousness with hundreds of others, mostly Americans, but many from around the world. It was very odd to see the occasional tweet from someone who hadn’t heard the news yet. The news correspondents on the TV and live stream shared the same frustration “He’s not speaking 4 minutes from now, it will be 9 minutes from now…” and the time continues to be pushed back.
It’s after 11pm now on the east coast.
More rumors surfaced, and were then confirmed by reliable news sources. “Osama Bin Laden is Dead” echoed virtually along with “The US has his body.” Twitter immediately lit up with ponderings and opinions, from those saying “But does this really change anything?” to those cheering and praising our armed forces.
Other rumors said that he was killed a week ago, but they were seeking DNA confirmation that it really was him. I applaud that, if it turns out to be true. This is something we really need to be sure of before it is announced to the world. This is a moment I will remember my whole life, just as I remember where I was when the Challenger and then later the Discovery exploded, and, as we all, where I was on 9-11.
During none of those events did I have anything resembling the lightning speed and collective consciousness of social media. But the collective consciousness is not in accord… there are those who are cheering the death of the “Unrepentant Mass Murderer”, and others who insist that cheering at a death, any death, is wrong. People are joking. People are praising God. People are cynical.
It is thirteen minutes after 11pm on the east coast, and still we wait. Talking heads on the news are filling the time. At any second, one of them is going to be interrupted by the announcement “Here is the President!” It’s like musical chairs; who is going to be the one who doesn’t get to finish their sentence?
I’ve copied and pasted cute or inspiring facebook statuses many times. But never have I seen every friend’s status on my recent newsfeed all saying the same thing. But it vacillates… friends in Australia are awake, but apparently haven’t heard, or at least they aren’t commenting yet.
Twitter is still abuzz.
I buried my solider, my heart with him and I still see no reason to celebrate anyone’s death in this war or any other. Goodnight Twitter.
Anderson Cooper tweets:
My thoughts right now are with all those lost on 9-11, and all those killed by his followers in the years since.
Maybe the Prez is making us wait ANOTHER 10 years for announcement?
Goodbye Osama. We aren’t gonna miss you one damn bit.
Here’s to hoping he didn’t make any horcruxes… #BinLaden