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Boston Tragedy: Where Did Americans Hear About It First?

Boston Tragedy: Where Did Americans Hear About It First?

The Internet now plays a central role for most people in how they discover and share information. Nowadays–especially in times of crisis–the Internet plays many different roles. We partnered with our friends at Bloomberg West to conduct a survey to find out how Americans utilized technology immediately after yesterday’s horrific event.

It was interesting to see that the primary way people found out about the bombings were via social networking. The oldest kind of social networking–actually talking to people in-person! The survey findings showed that media and technology played complementary roles. However during times of tragedy, it seems like we turn to each other first.

Our CEO, Dave Goldberg, spoke with Emily Chang this morning at Bloomberg West to discuss the survey of over 800 Americans via SurveyMonkey Audience.

Check out the video segment and our survey findings below.

People first learned of the Boston bombings from friends and family–not social media sites.

  • 32% say they first heard the news from friends and family compared to only 10% who found out from both Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly, just as many people learned of the events by hearing it on the radio (10%) as they did on social media sites.
  • Second place? Television with 21% heading there for breaking news.
  • Only 2% of people first heard the news from Twitter and in fact, more people first learned from Yahoo (4%) than Twitter.

Where did people go next to learn more?

  • Online news websites like the New York Times and The Boston Globe were the #1 places people went after first hearing of the explosions.
  • Television again came in second with 22% turning on their local news channels.
  • 7% headed to Yahoo while only 3% checked Twitter and 1% looked to Facebook.

Discussing the news in-person with friends, family and co-workers is preferable over talking online.

  • Talking on the phone was the second most frequent way that people shared the news at 26%. For those aged 18-29, texting was the second most preferred method of sharing information with 33% saying so.
  • 8% of respondents say they posted to Facebook and only 2% on their Twitter feeds. Age made a slight difference with 11% of 18-29 year olds sharing on Facebook and 5% on Twitter.

How are most people in Boston keeping their friends and family updated?

  • Texting is the #1 method with 43% with email messages coming in next at 21%.
  • Surprisingly, land line phone rounded out the top three (14%).
  • Social media sites are not the most popular way of communicating this information with only 7% choosing to go with Facebook and absolutely none for Twitter.

Every one of us here at SurveyMonkey have Boston in our hearts and thoughts.

To see the full set of survey results, visit our Slideshare page and click here.

To find out how you can help, please visit the Boston Marathon info pages at the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.  

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2 thoughts on “Boston Tragedy: Where Did Americans Hear About It First?

  1. You’ve made some really good points there. I checked on the net for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

  2. Dee says:

    Thanks for finally talking about >Boston Tragedy: Where Did Americans Hear About It First?
    | SurveyMonkey Blog <Liked it!

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