Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Social Media Helping to Heal in Wake of Newtown Tragedy

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Social Media Helping to Heal in Wake of Newtown Tragedy
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The devastation in Newtown, Connecticut rocked the entire nation to it's core. Many across the country took to social networking sites in response.

As YNN's Kate McGowan reports, many online users turned to the Web to help in the healing process.


WESTERN NEW YORK -- The images of the Connecticut shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School won't easily be forgotten.

As the Newtown community looks to rebuild after devastation, those across the nation responded with overwhelming grief.

"You can't even fathom the thought of a parent sending their child to school and them not coming home," said Buffalo resident, Patrick Baker.

Another Western New Yorker said, "It's hard to wrap your mind around, that something like that would happen."

Many, in search of comfort, are turning to social media like Twitter and Facebook. Some posting prayers and others offering their sympathy to the victims and survivors.

Dustin Muscato from Buffalo said, "Everybody has so much to say about it. I think it's interesting that people have a voice about it, you know?"

"To find people who are having similar feelings and I think that it can reinforce what you're going through as far as the grief process," said a resident.

Some said that by following social media, they are able to keep up to date with the latest news and information. Buffalo's social media expert, Jeremy Juhasz agrees.

"It's immediate and it's right there. It's a link to see what happens and you can follow it chronologically, what's going on. With that tragedy, we were getting pieces of information of what's going on in real time and people like that immediacy," he said.

As the reactions were posted, and the statuses updated, many used this shooting as an example of why stricter gun control is needed.

Baker exclaimed, "If any good comes out of this, we may have discussion and legislation regarding ammunition and guns, assault rifles."

"Everyone needs to say something. Or they don't have to, they can just sit back and watch," explained Juhasz.

Whether people chose to log on and comment or keep their thoughts to themselves, almost all can agree that the community of Newtown needs strength and support during this most trying time.

"Hug those people you love a little bit harder and make sure you live life the way you want to live it. Because it's fragile and it could be taken away," Muscato expressed.

Another Western New Yorker exclaimed, "Our hearts are with you. I mean, that's all you can say because there's not much we can do."

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