There are some events that are enhanced by sharing them through social media; the attention, praise and details always appreciated. They are far outweighed by those that are made worse with global coverage such as racially fuled shootings, terrorist attacks and acts of war. So it is these positive events in history that we want to recognize as social media worthy.
Social media today documents every facet of our lives, no event is too big, no event is too small. How did the human race ever get along without Facebook, Twitter and YouTube?
Several historical events in our past would have benefited from the continuous social media attention. Those events include ones with a more upbeat tone, ones recognized as mysteriously haunting us for years as well as celebrations and achievements in our history.
It’s in our nature to be curious about these events with far less documentation then we are used to. Check out the list of those events we wish social media had been around to document.
First man on the moon
On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the surface of the moon. His famous words have been heard and repeated countless times; “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. If Twitter was around in 1969 and his famous words had been tweeted would Ellen ever have come close to breaking his retweet record?
August 15-18 1969 has been called one of “50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll” by Rolling Stone. The music festival which was attended by nearly half a million people was a free event held on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Imagine the thousands of touching YouTube, Vine and Instagram videos capturing free love and recreational drug use throughout the weekend that would have surfaced.
Wright brothers first flight
Wilbur and Orville Wright made their first airplane flight in 1903 near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It lasted 12 seconds and went 120 feet. Twitter would have mocked them for their foolishness prior to flight and then praised them for their success seconds after landing.
Building the Pyramids
The Great Pyramids of Giza are listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one still in existence today. It is believed they were erected to honor the Pharaoh’s of Egypt but their construction is still somewhat of a mystery. A Facebook page dedicated to the Pharaoh would surely have given daily updates to the progress and purpose of the Great Pyramids.
The mystery of Stonehenge continues to baffle historians and scientists today. The monument in southern England which incorporates close to 100 stones in a circular display is believed to be a burial ground but its construction and other purposes remain a mystery. Perhaps if social media had been around the rituals performed there as well as the secrets of its construction would be a YouTube channel with millions of subscribers.
Berlin wall coming down/end of Cold War
November 9, 1989 marked the end of division of East and West Berlin. The wall had been constructed in 1961 to “keep Western fascists from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state” and was one of the most compelling symbols of the Cold War. Its destruction would have prompted social media enthusiasts to document its wreckage as well as mark the crossing from West to East Berlin and back by every German for weeks.
The 18th Amendment outlawed the production, transport and sale of alcohol in 1920 and brought about Prohibition in the United States. It lead to an increase in bootlegging, gang violence and prompted speakeasies to increase exponentially throughout the country. Social media would have allowed for easy interactions between manufacturers and distributors, made the sale of alcohol a breeze and would have made finding a speakeasy a matter of which LinkedIn groups you were a part of. Let’s not even get into the pictures and admissions that would have been posted for law enforcement to find.
Declaration of Independence
American independence was born with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Approved by Congress on July 4, 1776, it contains one of the most well-known sentences in our history; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Written largely by Thomas Jefferson with help from John Adams and Benjamin Franklin the exchanges heard during its creation is something every American would like to hear. If only social media had been around to post video of the debate.
The history of the Olympics goes back over 3,000 years with the original games held in ancient Greece in honor of the god Zeus. Modern Olympics began in 1896 in Athens with 13 nations competing and a total of 280 participants. (History.com) The continued popularity of the Olympics was seen this year with the Winter Olympics in Russia. Social media played a big part in the games as was evident from the trending selfie with the Olympic flame. What trends would have emerged from the original Olympic games if social media had been around?
Babe Ruth’s career home run record
Babe Ruth is known as one of the most prolific hitters in baseball history. His career spanned 22 seasons and consisted of a move from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees. His career record of 714 home runs which he kept for 39 years, until Hank Aaron hit his 715 in 1974, is only part of what made him amazing. (History.com) Every home run, every run batted in and his slugging percentage would have been trending on every social media site for most of his 22 year career as well as Hank Aaron’s run to finally beat his home run record.