Mobile phones change how we learn about tragedy and honor the victim

Mobile phones change how we learn about tragedy and honor the victim

ORLANDO, FL (RNN) - "Mommy I love you," the text reads. Another says, "I'm about to die."

Eddie Justice, 30, texted his mother from the Pulse nightclub as a gunman entered and began killing people. Mina Justice called the police and continued texting with him as he relayed the details of his last few moments - that the gunman was in the room where he fled from the gunfire.

Details of the victims' final moments emerged from their communications. Amanda Alvear's friend posted her SnapChat videos from inside the club, with flashing lights and the loud staccato of gunfire.

The last video is Alvear, 25, looking into the phone saying "someone is shooting," but she's barely heard above the shots.

Smartphones and social media have made society more connected - they change how people check up on each other and how information is shared. Police and news outlets use the websites and apps to piece together unfolding situations. Many read the news of the terror attack on their portable devices. Facebook and Google created ways for people to let their loved ones know they were safe.

First responders at the horrific scene had to ignore the constant chirping noise of victim's phones as loved ones frantically called and texted repeatedly, hoping someone would answer.

Pulse, a club where members of the LGBT community could come together, posted on their Facebook page when the shooting started for everyone to get out and "keep running."

In the past, loved ones held on to letters, yearbooks and photographs. These days, mementos are kept on the computer carried in the palm of your hand and can be shared with the world in a moment.

Many changed their profile photographs to support Orlando, shared a hashtag and GoFundMe websites were set up to help the victims.

As fast as the news of hate spread, the reaction of love was just as swift.

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