… though that was sort of my plan. To run errands. Instead these plans were derailed by a desire to watch the social media storm unfolding surrounding the shooting deaths of three armoured car guards, the severe injury of another guard, and the manhunt that has since followed. Sure I was online last night until the wee hours, but I didn't really find out what was going on until the morning when a belated text message (at 8:58am) from the University of Alberta informed me that HUB mall would be closed until 7pm and that residents could leave but wouldn't be able to return until it was reopened. Seeing as I had planned to walk through HUB (it being my area of campus) to run said errands) this led me to pay a lot closer attention to twitter and whatnot… which I read avidly until a reporter called me for more information about my tweet click here for her article.
After talking to her (being careful as to what I was saying), I returned to the Internet and went on my merry day insofar as I could, highly distracted by all that was unfolding. I was thinking about my fellow students some of whom were writing exams today, others of whom worked on campus, some lived in HUB and others still were finding out about this from afar. I was also thinking about how the University of Alberta would look on media reports all around the world today. This was no regular University campus shooting afterall: it was an armed robbery and targeted killing… and now they're looking for the suspect, the other staff member who was with the 4 victims last night.
The suspect, who is quite young, went to high school in the town that I did. And I have friends who live near his abode tweeting about the manhunt going on near their homes. Talk about close to home… well it wasn't until they publicly listed the names of the victims, showing photos, that I paid much attention to Facebook and the fact that I knew of one of the victims (I didn't know her well, but I had met her, talked to her) through one of the circles of friends that I move in. And so I worry about and wonder about those friends of mine too who are much more directly impacted than I am.
Social media has been great at keeping me informed about what's going on in the world these days, even if this world happens to be the world that is in our collective backyards, the world that is my own city, or my campus… my alma mater, the school I've attended for the past twelve years now. And it's been great pulling us together, letting us know about things, connecting us across distance and time and reminding us of just how small the world is.
Because really, on days like today, I like to remember who my friends are, what advantages I have in life, and really be thankful for the chance to live my life to its fullest.