Twitter: now a venue for reliving near-death experiences?

December 22, 2008

now a venue for reliving near-death experiences?Your plane just crashed, and you can feel the heat from the fire roaring outside the walls of your plane on your skin. Once you manage to escape your tin can of a cremation chamber, your first reaction is to tweet your experience on Twitter. Perfectly normal, no?

Twitter is a peculiar little micro-messaging client, in that even in the face of naysayers and errors, it continues to chug along and gain new users. It also continues to surprise in the way it is used to spread news faster than traditional media outlets can fathom.

The recent election really displayed the power of Twitter as users wielded the micro-messaging client to provide up-to-the-minute coverage and commentary of the election happenings. And now, Twitter has been given another use: being used to break news of traumatic events from which individuals barely escape with their lives.

Mike Wilson’s plane crashed two days ago, and he live-tweeted the experience from the moment he escaped the plane upon its crash until his phone died in the presidential club, and then further once he reached a charger. And the Twitterverse was the first community to receive notification of the event. Talk about amazing. If you missed the timeline, Alley Insider has it in entirety.

Wilson’s humorous recount of the events that occurred after the crash demonstrate how Twitter could pose a very real problem to companies like the airline if they were to try in any way to manipulate the news of the crash to media outlets as well. Mike had his phone up and tweeting as soon as he got off the plane’s wing, complaining of the injustice of having his plane crash and then not being able to get a stiff drink as the airline stuffed all the passengers into the club until the havoc died down. This is inside news from real reporters. Journalists couldn’t hope for that sort of coverage.

This is a great example of how our sources of news are shifting. While critics will say that classical media outlets are the most reliable sources news, you be the judge: are you more interested in the first-person recount of the real-time events of the plane crash from Mike, or do you want Jane Doe from Just Another News giving you some spinned recap? For me, I’d much rather get the scoop from Mike.

Thanks Mike, and we’re glad you’re ok. But seriously, if this was your second plane crash, you really should start taking the bus.

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