I’m currently writing to you while hiding behind a table on lockdown. My school received an unconfirmed threat of some kind, and I’m hiding from that unknown threat.
At the start, when our heads finally processed “this is not a drill”, the room was tense. Everybody stared in silence at the door, hopefully shielding us from the unknown. We followed procedure, sat down in silence, and waited. One by one, each person realized that the light of a cell phone posed no risk in a brightly sunlit classroom.
As I write this, some girl accidentally starts up the unsilenceable siri while texting her BFFs. Others tweet and facebook their friends. I do the same. Some instagram, and some snapchat, and suddenly the tension in the room drops.
Lockdowns are so terrifying, because we hide from unknown threats. We barricade ourselves from an enemy unknown. This little bit of humanity, and connection goes a long way towards comforting the hundreds of students displaced. Being able to talk to people from inside and outside the school and compare notes was very comforting, and though we couldn’t talk, we no longer felt isolated.
We were in that locked down for about an hour and twenty minutes. A police officer was supposed to come escort our class, but they never came, so we sprinted to where we knew the cops were. We reached the safety of the state police in the lobby, and from there we were escorted to safety, where we could finally talk, and relax a bit. It was a very scary experience for me, sitting, not knowing what the next few minutes would hold (in the end, everything was alright) but I thank all the creators of social networks for easing the tension to a manageable level.
In the end it was just a threat by the way (as far as we know), but I just wanted to call to your attention the value of social media in connecting otherwise-isolated people.