Social Media

Phil Ponce and Amanda Vinicky
Chicago Tonight | WTTW-TV

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A couple of years ago, two people in Urbana were hit by darts fired from a blow-dart gun. They weren't seriously injured. That’s not what this story is about.  

The attacks were so random, and frankly so weird, that most people found them humorous. One of those happened to be a middle-school teacher, who posted a comment on Facebook.

The nation went into mourning when, just after the Civil War had finally ended, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. No one alive today can remember, but a class project may make you get a sense of what it was like, or at least what went on. Students at the University of Illinois Springfield began "live-tweeting" on April 14 - the date that that Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theater back in 1865. They've continued, tweeting in real time -- 150 years after the fact -- about the pursuit of John Wilkes Booth, and the funeral cortege from Washington, D.C. to Springfield.

WUIS/Illinois Issues

If you are trying to keep tabs on the race for governor in Illinois, online social media platforms are some of the best places to do it. 

Dana Heupel
WUIS/Illinois Issues

An old friend of mine died recently. His last days were chronicled in real time on Facebook.

First came a post that he was seriously ill and was in a nursing home awaiting test results. Then a post that he had been taken back to the hospital. Then that he and doctors had decided there was nothing else they could do. Then the hospice, and finally, his death.

 

Readers can’t “refresh” this page 20 times a day to see the latest information. And they can’t touch an underlined word to skip to another page to read a supporting document, hear an interview or see a photo.

Print media are losing committed readers to the more immediate, interactive and free news bits available from computers or handheld devices.

The multitasking readers who thrive on multimedia have developed a habit ­of accessing the “blogosphere” — the electronic abyss of personal Web sites — as part of their daily routines.