On March 28, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that originated in La Habra shook the Southern California region. The quake generated a buzz on social media, prompting users to post or tweet their takes on the seismic force.
While this is not the first time an earthquake has hit the region, it does highlight a trend that has surfaced recently. Today, any noteworthy event is reported by numerous sources on social media. This, in turn, compels others to ridicule these zealous reporters with posts of their own.
A survey conducted by J Student Reporters of 29 anonymous Southern Californian high school students who use Facebook shows that, while there was a sharp rise in earthquake-related posts after the quake hit, 79% claimed indifference to the online commotion. Just 10% admitted to posting on social media about the earthquake, while three respondents said they had ridiculed the posts.
South Pasadena High School senior Christopher Makarem believes that those who post about natural phenomena are only restating the obvious.
“While every person who posts about the earthquake believes that he or she is writing something new, to those who have to see several of these posts they become tiresome,” Makarem told JSR.
“I realize there was an earthquake because I felt it,” he continued, “and I don’t need thirty people telling me there was one.”
Yet earthquakes can generate entertaining online activity. For example, a KTLA report filmed during a recent 4.4 magnitude went viral in March, recording over 14 million views from audience members who enjoy watching the anchors scrambling to get themselves to safety during the quake.