I experienced the Boston tragedy solely through the prism of social media. I was particularly struck by a sequence of eye-witness videos curated by Storyful for YouTube’s Spotlight page. I was overpowered by their unspeakable intimacy. They had a visceral quality missing from those edited and narrated by mainstream TV journalists.
A GoPro camera on the head of a runner records the final stretch down Boylston Street and the thunderclap of the first bomb. The fearful exclamation of the woman outside Walgreens (“Something just blew up”) is cut off by the roar of the second bomb. A video journalist lets his camera roll across the wreckage of the starting line, his distress audible and the blood visible.