Or, How to Fit a Distress Signal Into 140 Characters
The proud history and tragic fate of the RMS Titanic have both fascinated and haunted us for over a century. In fact, today, April 15, marks the 104th anniversary of when the ship sank in the early hours of the morning, just several hundred miles from dry land.
The sheer magnitude of the disaster shocked the world at the time, especially considering that it took the lives of some of the richest men on the planet. Substantial media coverage after the event and during subsequent trials further sensationalized the sinking, which ultimately led to major safety reforms for marine safety treaties and radio communication procedures.
Imagine the attention such a catastrophe would get if it happened today. With all the world being so effortlessly connected via the internet and social media, the accident would be sure to garner endless media and personalized coverage, not only from peoples onshore but from survivors and victims themselves.
One Twitter account live tweeted the tragic events of April 14-15, 1912 over the past day in commemoration of the disaster’s 104th anniversary, and it provided eerie insight into the way we might have perceived the sinking had it happened in modern times.
It’s one thing to watch it in movie or musical form, but witnessing the tragedy in real time changes everything…
I doubt the original distress signal via telegraph was limited to 140 characters…