8 Ways Facebook Maintained My Sanity During Snowpocalypse 2011
Periodically, people gripe that Facebook is boring… after all, who cares about people’s boring status updates? However, having just survived Atlanta‘s worst winter snowstorm in years (which kept our kids home from school for a week!), I found my friends’ Facebook status updates to be invaluable. Here’s why:
(1) Pre-Game Show
Usually in Atlanta, people load up on bread and milk if we hear there’s even a flake of snow heading our way. We can’t help but envision ourselves being snowbound for days and not being able to provide food for our families. So even if you weren’t paying attention to the dire weather reports the weekend before, Facebook’s newsfeed was a wonderful form of peer pressure, especially when you heard the grocery stores were running out of bread. The newsfeed reminded us to get to Publix while the getting was still good.
(2) Share the Euphoria
On the night the snow began to fall, the status updates at first were from people complaining: “We know the snow is coming, so where is it?” However, my family and I would have missed the initial snowfall had it not been for Facebook and all of the status updates that announced, “SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” As the newsfeed scrolled down my iPhone, my family and I raced to the windows and watched a sight we rarely see. Here’s a shot I took as it began to fall…
(3) School Closings
I soon discovered that Facebook was the fastest way to determine whether schools had been closed. Nobody wants to watch the local news channels, only to see an endless list of businesses and schools scrolling across the bottom of the screen (when really, you only care about your own), or to constantly hit refresh on the school’s website. Again, the Facebook newsfeed on my iPhone notified me much faster than anything else would.
(4) Driving Conditions
During the first few days, the local news channels were full of dire warnings: Don’t drive if you don’t have to. As the week dragged on, the news changed: The highways are clearing up. Fine, but living out in the burbs where we don’t have snow removal equipment, the only way to find out about the roads would have been to get out and drive yourself. Or… read the newsfeeds. My friends in our local area kept me up to date quite nicely.
(5) Snow Pictures
I genuinely enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful snow pictures, from kids frolicking in the snow (including some ambitious igloo shots), to idyllic photos of snow covered landscapes. As the snowstorm spread northward up the East Coast, I also liked this humorous shot from a friend in Boston:
(6) Movie Recommendations
Because our snow had a layer of ice on top of it, it wasn’t good for snowball fights or sledding. We couldn’t drive in it to see friends, so my family played a LOT of board and card games. There’s only so many times you can play Parcheesi or Uno, so eventually, my friends started posting on Facebook the movies they were watching. Sounds like the most popular movies were “Inception” and “The Social Network.” We also made great use of Netflix Instant downloads.
Our initial reaction to the snowstorm was excitement… who could have predicted we would be out of school for a week? As the week ground on, I appreciated seeing that my friends were also losing enthusiasm and steam for this unexpected winter break. It made me feel good to see that others couldn’t wait for their kids to go back to school too, or that we actually wanted to return to work.
(8) Social Media Updates
As a social media professional, part of my job is staying on top of the latest developments so I can advise my clients about the latest and greatest in social media. Because I’ve clicked “Like” on some terrific Facebook pages, their updates showed up in my newsfeeds. So even if I was unable to get out and meet with clients, I could still keep up to date about what was happening in the tech world.
So there you have it. What are other ways Facebook could help you in similar situations?
- Not Fair: Snow Covers Every U.S. State, Except for Florida (deaconjohn1987.wordpress.com)
- Atlanta Update: When the Southern Snowpacolypse Invaded Social Media (ogilvypr.com)