If we hear the words “bread and milk” one more time, we’ll probably explode.
As you most likely have heard by now (how could you not?), one of the most anticipated storms of recent time turned out to be a major dud. It couldn’t have been a bigger dud. While Mother Nature simply outwitted us once again, much of the “dudness” came from all of the ridiculous hype.
It’s the snowball effect. Pun intended. One person starts talking about a few inches of snow, then their friend shares a Facebook status on their wall, someone else retweets an unpaid weather blogger, and before you know it, we have a historic blizzard on our hands. While all the models and trends truly showed a major storm, there’s no way it would have been this blown up if it wasn’t for social media. If you were ambitious enough to open your Facebook, you would’ve seen that the first 10 updates were about the storm. If you were brave enough to go out in public, the only word that could be heard was blizzard. The bread was long gone. Lines at the gas station indicated some type of impending apocalypse.
While a lot can be said for the phrase, “Better safe than sorry,” we wonder if it was all worth it. Better to be overprepared than underprepared, right? Maybe the idea of “social media responsibility” should be taken into consideration. Many of the big time weather bloggers (Weather NJ, Tri-State Weather, Jersey Shore Hurricane News) have come out with apologies indicated what they could have done differently to prevent mass panic. Here’s what the guy behind the curtain at Weather NJ had to say this morning, “For myself though, I’ve walked away learning that forecast risk mitigation (what could go wrong) should be better implemented into the forecast discussion. Hindsight is 20-20 but I wish could go back and mention that dry slots and late phases can make or break large complex systems such as these. It’s best to present all possible solutions and rule them out one-by-one during real-time observations and verification. I think I will do this from now on so that the public has a better understanding of both possibility and probability with approaching weather systems. Have a great day and be safe!”
We thought that was pretty cool. A lesson learned for many people. Social Media is a tricky, tricky thing.
Is it summer yet?