Tag Archives: paris

#PeaceforParis

On Friday, November 13th, ISIS terrorists attacked a stadium, a theatre, and least two restaurants in Paris, France. Six attacks in total occurred claiming more than 100 lives, some of which were missing at the beginning of the investigation. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook helped to save lives and show support on Friday, using hashtags and inserting the French flag into profile picture. Social media played a huge impact in this horrific event, but without social media, the attacks could have been much worse.

Melanie Marten, my cousin, who lives in Paris, France. She shows her support by inserting the French flag into her Facebook profile picture. Photo from Facebook
Melanie Marten, my cousin, who lives in Paris, France. She shows her support by inserting the French flag into her Facebook profile picture. Photo from Facebook.

The night of the attack, a hostage inside the stadium, in which 100 hostages were being held captive, used Facebook to post what was happening during the attack, essentially telling the French police to raid the place because the terrorists were killing the “one by one.” Facebook allowed for the hostages to communicate with the outside world, getting the help faster than without social media. The hostage, obviously, didn’t want to talk on the phone in fear of being caught. With social media, they didn’t have to.

After the attacks ended, people in France were using the hashtag “ #rechercheParis” which translates to “ search Paris,” to find each other through the panic, chaos, and sadly, carnage. “More than 100 tweets per minute used the hashtag, according to Twitter’s data. And by Saturday evening, more than 64,000 tweets had used #rechercheParis.” The hashtag #PorteOuverte (open door) was used on Twitter to let people know that they had a place to stay if they had nowhere to go. People using this hashtag were offering up their house as a place to stay. Twitter allowed for communication to happen all throughout Paris in a quick and easy way, making it unknown to all French people what was happening and what their option were. No other form of communication would have been that quick or reached that many people.

Social media, potentially, saved many people’s lives by informing them of what was going on and what option they had to stay away from the terrorist attack. Twitter and Facebook allowed for the knowledge of what was happening inside the stadium to go to the police and created a community for people who had endured the attack or those who were affected by it. This is why technology is important in the world and should never been limited or taken away.

You’re going to experience ch-ch-ch-changes

When I left for college, I left someone behind. No, she wasn’t my significant other, but she certainly was significant to me. She was one of my best friends. We didn’t hang out all that often, but when we did, it was like we’d never been apart.

I’ve had plenty of friends throughout my life; I’m not a lonely person. I’ve had best friends who I called every day, and ones that I rarely saw but loved to catch up with. This girl was so different from all of them, though. She saw me for exactly who I was: a neurotic yet happy dreamer with my mind so far removed from my body that it was eternally somewhere else.

Photo courtesy of https://www.etsy.com/market/tower_keychain.
Photo courtesy of https://www.etsy.com/market/tower_keychain.

I left for college thinking that things would be as they always had been once I came back. They weren’t. She’s a busy person, she always had been. When I came back, we could hardly ever find time for each other. She was prepping to study at UVa the following year, always stressing and studying. I was trying to find the time to see all of my friends and family that I’d been removed from for four months.

Although we both had a lot going on, I feel almost as if it’s my fault for not finding time for her. I could’ve helped her with her homework or gone with her on errands. I could’ve found time, but I didn’t.

You see, I was still operating under the fantasy that things would be the same whenever I got around to seeing her. I kept putting her off, thinking that we would be able to pick things up again where we left off. Regrettably, throughout my entire month-long winter break, I didn’t see her once.

On the last day that we saw each other before I went to college, she gave me a present. She had recently gone on an exchange trip to Paris, the same trip I had gone on two years previously. She gave me a keychain with the four main monuments that tourists visit in Paris: the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, the Arc du Triomph, and Notre Dame.

I loved that keychain so much, even if it was possibly a little too fragile for me to carry around daily. Sadly, that didn’t stop me from doing so. Over the course of the past year, it has slowly fallen apart, not unlike our friendship.

We used to text each other often enough, just to keep up with each other’s lives. Our messages grew sparse, with only the occasional post on each other’s Facebook walls to keep us connected. I couldn’t tell you the last time I talked to her.

Yesterday, the last charm on the keychain broke off. The Eiffel tower had been standing the longest, but now it’s gone. This got me thinking about the state of disrepair our relationship is in. Should I pick up the phone and call her? Or should I do as my keychain did, and let go completely?

When you come to college, you’re going to experience changes. You’re going to grow away from the people you’ve been friends with your whole life, and that’s okay. This being said, there’s one thing I beg of anyone moving away to college; please hold on to those relationships you treasure. Don’t lose someone you truly care about. You may never know how many charms you’ve lost from your keychain until it’s too late to find them again.