These days if you have a cameraphone and Facebook, you’re just as much a reporter as the ones you see on TV. And thanks to hurricane Sandy, we saw lots of amateurs risking their life just for the sake of capturing a great shot of the destruction and devastation.
Gone are the days that it’s only the idiot reporters (myself included) who are braving the elements to have people ooh and ahh over the amazing snaps they can get. The bored and the stupid are also out there dodging flying debris and struggling to stay above the fast-rising waters.
And while the local authorities – even the darn president – advised people to stay safe and stay indoors, many onlookers couldn’t resist.
The most ironic part is the constant updates people posted as “breaking news” – which, as far as I thought, was only a journalistic term, but like I said, everybody is a reporter these days – were things like “power’s gone out” or “phone battery is almost dead.”
Clearly the homemade photogs weren’t thinking ahead that if the power was out and the cellphone was dying it meant there would soon be no way to contact the outside world in the event of an emergency.
And, for the sake of the argument, let’s say things were fine one moment and all of a sudden a catastrophic change swept through their home and killed their entire family. How sad would it be to die because the phone battery was drained since they were posting updates we could get on TV or news websites?
Yes, this is an extreme scene I am painting but it is also entirely possible given what happened in New York and all over the East Coast. Your safety is far more important than getting the perfect picture that your never-met-before friends on Facebook are wowed by for a couple minutes before someone upstages you with a better shot.
Your family’s safety is never worth jeopardizing simply for your need to get recognition online.