How the country is following this breaking news

This isn’t sports, but it’s breaking news…

I was just watching some college softball on ESPN until I heard that a police officer had been shot at MIT in Boston. No one was sure if it was connected to the marathon bombing, but I immediately started following the story.

A number of the people I follow on Twitter for sports started tweeting about what they were hearing on the Boston police scanner… automatic weapons, grenades, shootout…I couldn’t believe it, so I had to tune in on my own.

I began listening to the scanner feed and tweeting what I thought was interesting. Pictures and tweets and videos kept popping up and I couldn’t look away. At one point I saw over 80,000 people listening to the scanner feed and that was just on the one app I was using.

Twitter has been ahead of every other news outlet in the world tonight and it’s incredible. I have never seen my timeline so alive at 3 a.m. ever…and I am usually awake at this time every night. I had planned on going to bed around 1 a.m. until this happened, but I have not been able to put my phone or computer away.

There are so many people asleep right now who, when they wake up, won’t be able to believe what happened overnight.

I have had the TV on, muted with the police scanner on and Twitter open for the last three hours and still can’t believe what is happening in Watertown, Mass. right now. Like I tweeted earlier, people used to laugh at me when I said I got all my news from Twitter, but tonight solidifies my point. My mom rarely even tries to ask me if I heard about something, because she knows I probably heard about it on Twitter as it happened.

Another argument going around right now is people reporting off police scanners. Yes it is real time information, but it is constantly changing and is used to help authorities communicate. They give some good information, but the real reporting should still be done by the people on the scene or on the phone with credible sources. 

Tonight is a big night for social media, for the good and the bad, but after all we have gone through and seen this week, hopefully everyone is getting better.