In June 23, 2010, an earthquake rocked Ontario, Quebec, and other neighboring cities in Canada. Ontario’s earthquake magnitude registered at around 5.0, decent enough to give the ground a little shaking and people shocks of their lives, especially if you’re a part of a country that counts hundreds of years before experiencing earthquakes.

But the earthquake was not the interesting thing here… Because at around 1:45pm, the time the earthquake transpired, an unexpected thing happened…

People never took the time to find a good shelter, or pray even….

They sat by their computers and punched at their handhelds and did an amazing thing…

They updated their Facebook accounts (yes, Facebook, because I guess that could represent all the social networking sites at the present time), sent SMS to their friends and families about the event, and a majority of people (when I say majority, I mean A LOT of them) live-tweeted. Yes, tweeter was on a rampage by that time. But first, let’s get to the quake’s statistics.

The earthquake was initially recorded as magnitude 5.5, receding to a steady 5.0 at a margin of 30-second tremors. It was recorded mainly at the areas of Ontario and Montreal, but it was also felt in several U.S states such including:

  • Michigan,
  • Ohio,
  • Pennsylvania,
  • West Virginia,
  • Vermont,
  • New Hampshire,
  • New Jersey and
  • New York.

The tremors resulted to evacuations, swaying buildings and a few cracks on walls, but luckily, there were no casualties, injuries and big property damages reported.

By that time, the news about the quake was not even in Google yet until a few hours later, people outside the city; even outside the country was well-informed about the said calamity because of the two most influential social sites in the web today, Facebook and Twitter. Facebook was known as the most influential social networking site today, with 400 million active users to date and still growing, compared to the 75 million users of Twitter with a receding user growth compared to the latter. With smart phones at a boom today, Facebook could also be accessed everywhere, moving at par with Twitter’s mobile accessibility.

By the time of the quake, Twitter was the top communications-medium of the day; beating Facebook two-folds in user statistics. Within seconds of the tremors tweets were sent brothers, parents, friends and loved-ones. It was frenzy. After a few seconds more, jokes were then sent. Taking puns on people who might have died and then politics. (It’s quite amusing, that in everything, people could always find something to amuse themselves with.) After a few more minutes until today, spam was generated and every other thing you could possibly think of.

Twitter has been in the circulation for quite some time now. It has enabled people to share the things that they are presently doing, might it be interesting or just for fun, and even gaining new acquaintances and new friends. In times of great trouble, it proved to be a great diversion for the gravity of the situation and a great information source.