Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)
TITLE: She Calls it Clicktivism
By Linda Rogers
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On Monday in Boston, the Marathon is in full swing, when suddenly there are explosions near the finish line. Technology allows me to see it while it is still unfolding, even though I am two thousand miles away in Colorado. Once again violent, bloody images are unexpected and hypnotizing on my kitchen television as I wash my dishes.
This time it is from homemade bombs tossed into trashcans at a major public event. Why would someone seek to randomly kill and maim innocent people this way? I am once more stunned at the terrible violence in the world today.
Within days, the media gives me many answers. Two young men, each wearing a backpack and a ball cap, had been walking through the explosion area just prior to the blast. The security cameras are examined quickly using computer technology and the authorities now have suspects. I watch the clip along with millions of other viewers and I see one suspect following the other. The second stays about 10 feet behind and tries to appear unrelated as they move casually through the crowd. But we still can't see their faces yet.
Later, an innocent bystander posts a photo that he had snapped in the first moments of the explosions. He is sharing his story and telling his Facebook friends "This is what I saw when it happened." And yet it's a key factor in identifying the suspects! A massive manhunt is launched to find two brothers of Chechen ethnicity, and now I can see their faces.
In an amazing stream of viral clicking, American citizens nationwide post the images of these faces! Boston citizens are told to stay inside, as the authorities comb the neighborhoods. I see the two faces on my television, my computer, and my social media sites. Friends from Wisconsin, New Mexico, Texas, and dozens of other places are clicking and sharing the warnings. It seems as if everyone in the entire country is keenly aware of what the suspects look like. The media is flooded with details, information, possible sightings and warnings.
Sad news breaks late Thursday evening at the Boston MIT campus. A young policeman is shot dead in his car on the university campus. Terror is striking again. Information pours out that one suspect is dead after an exchange of gunfire with the authorities. The younger suspect has escaped however and for the moment is still on the run.
On Saturday morning, a mere 5 days after the tragic explosions at the Marathon, an ABC news correspondent faithfully reports the most recent details. She comments about the role being played by citizens using social media. Not only has it helped the authorities gather information, but it plays a part in the fact distribution process as well. American citizens are clicking their smart phones and laptops on Facebook and Twitter continually as the dragnet tightens around the Boston suburbs. Bianna Golodryga calls it clicktivism... and suggests that "clicking" is a way for average citizens to show their support, both for the victims as well as for the authorities as this intense drama unfolds. It takes only a second of time to click and send your thoughts.
The search eventually ends after sunset in a Watertown suburban backyard. The young man is captured under a boat tarp. Bostonians are finally resting easier, and patriotism is soaring. Although the injured are still picking up the pieces of their horrific experience, and the four tragic funerals have not yet occurred, the American spirit moves onward and upward.
I turn on the television on Sunday morning and find that the bloody, violent images are being replaced with much better ones. Folks are clicking pictures to support Boston Strong. I see lots of pictures with old-fashioned red, white and blue...our dear Old Glory. People are standing together on street corners, in ball stadiums, and even where they work.
Have you seen the man in Ohio running down the streets of Akron with a large American flag? Just Google it, you'll find him. Thanks to computer technology, his picture and many others are just a click away.
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