From the Archives: Three events prior to social media…

This story comes from the ISYS 6621 Social Media for Managers class. I wrote this on October 5, 2015 to stir up a bit of history and now, with the Chicago Cubs well on their way back into the playoffs, I thought it would be a good time to add it to the archives here. I’m pulling for the Cubbies this year — as a frustrated Red Sox fan, I want to see Theo Epstein totally stick it to the ownership group at 4 Yawkey Way. A Cubs World Series win in 2016? Jon Lester getting another World Series ring? Please!

October 5, 2015. Social Media class at Boston College Blog Post:

If we had social media when…

Think back to any Presidential Election, nor’easter, Patriots game, Halloween, or birthday party that occurred in your life prior to 2005. How would have social media shaped that event if Facebook were around then? I understand it is not a throwback Thursday, but, this Monday night, I want to look back on three events, spanning three different centuries and ask, what if we were able to live Tweet then? What if people were watching Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on Periscope? Here are three events that I want to bring to life through Instagram photos I created. I would like to stress that you should please use your imagination here as many liberties have been taken to craft the story the way I think it would have occurred.

October 15, 2003

2003 NLCS Game 6 Moises Alou and Steve Bartman

The wound was about to open up as a Red Sox fan this night. As a 17 year old I thought that the pain my mom and uncle have felt as Red Sox fans would be something I would have to endure as well. Anyway, the night before, on the north side of Chicago, a life-long Cubs fan reached for a foul ball in the 8th inning. More than 40,000 people in Wrigley Field and millions more at home wanted 26 year old, Steve Bartman, to pay for the unimaginable horror that just occurred. 12 years later, Bartman still lives in Chicago and, once again, turned down an offer from other fans to make amends for, in a sense, destroying the life he had.

I chose to post a photo from the Instagram account of Moises Alou (here is his real Instagram) reminding fans the Cubs had one more game to win to earn the team’s first trip to the World Series since 1945. The Cubs fans have suffered curses in the past and now Bartman was the latest scapegoat for Cubs fans. It would have taken an athlete or a celebrity to stand up and say, “hold on” let’s not beat up this kid. Alou had his chance October 14; however it took him until 2008 to publicly say he wouldn’t have caught the ball.

December 25, 1814

John Quincy Adams at the Treaty of Ghent

After weeks of attending ugly sweater holiday parties, Christmas finally arrived for the Adams family. Think about how tiring it must have been to sew multiple tree, deer, sleigh, and Santa patterns for all those Snaps. Meanwhile, that day, John Quincy Adams was reflecting on the peace treaty that was formally signed between the United States and Great Britain, thereby concluding the war of 1812.

Here, you are lucky, that I am not entirely making up my own account of Christmas in 1814 (Ugly Sweater parties have been around longer than electricity, right?). Thankfully the Massachusetts Historical Society has converted diaries from John Quincy Adams into tweets. I’ll add links to several of his Tweets from the signing of the peace treaty, which Adams was present. Therefore, you can actually get some education from this blog post.



Do you know who would likely always be on Facebook checking in at every big party, posting about their new Indiegogo campaign, and humble bragging in every comment? Just think if he ever was annoyed at Comcast.

For whatever reason, as I began writing this blog post, I thought that Michelangelo would have used the hashtags #blessed and #nofilter at the unveiling of the Sistine Chapel painting. Just imagine the entire Catholic world waiting for the photos to appear on Instagram.

Other Historical Events?

This weekend, as I was telling friends about this blog post, they said that I should talk about 9/11 or when Auschwitz was liberated at the end of World War 2. Of course there are countless events that I would want to see recounted on social media. At first, I thought about whether or not it would take away from the meaning and significance of the event. And, further, whom would I be able to find willing to add their voice to these projects?

If you haven’t yet followed the humansofny, I stress that you do to bring attention to the stories of refugees from Iraq and Syria.

Lastly, if anyone knows of more historical accounts on social media and wants to share those, please include a link in your comments. I’m wondering, also, what events you wish would have played out on Social Media.