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How would social media react to past events today?

Let's look back at historic moments that would blow up our social media feeds today

social media graphic

"Social media is a powerful outlet." Illustration published Sunday Feb. 12, 2017. 

It was the thrilling comeback victory the New England Patriots had last weekend that made me think about how fortunate many of us are to witness a game like that.

This led me to consider a few historic events that would blow up on Twitter if they were to happen today.

Fortunate for all college students in the country, specifically the ASU student body, social media not only provides a large amount of information on historic events that happened before our time, but it gives us a tool to voice our opinion on any situation.

It was 1987. This was the year ASU football won its first and only "grand-daddy of them all": the Rose Bowl.

The Sun Devils had a great 1986-87 season by winning the Pac-10 conference and earning a spot in the biggest annual college bowl game. They played against a great Michigan team, with former NFL coach Jim Harbaugh as their starting quarterback. This is still known today as the most important victory in ASU football history.

A similarly exciting event happened a few years ago, in October 2014. Our Devils went into the Colosseum to play USC and left Los Angeles with a victory on a Hail Mary. After this game, that play was named "Jael Mary," after Jaelen Strong, the receiver who caught the game-winning touchdown.

This moment made ASU Twitter's night. It made me wonder how Twitter would react to the Rose Bowl in 1987.

Then I started to think politically. What past political events would make social media go nuts today?

That's where it gets tricky. There is an unlimited amount of political moments that would make us go to Twitter and voice our opinion in all-caps.

But I started thinking of events that would not only make social media go nuts, but that also would affect the life of many Sun Devils today. 

Alexander Avina is a history professor at ASU focused on Latin-American history. I asked him if he sees a moment in history involving the Latin-American community with a potential of repeating itself today. 

He said that with the current White House administration's actions on immigration, he sees similarities of the 1920s coming back up again.

"What we’re seeing right now is possibly the beginning of the 1920s, right before the Great Depression, when people were seeing the Latin community as a scapegoat in taking American jobs," Avina said. 

His prediction is not only valid, but we're seeing it also evolve with time. Just last week, an undocumented immigrant mother was deported in Mesa.

It received full national coverage on social media and is now being seen as President Trump's first known deportation action under his latest immigration orders.

When thinking about moments that happened on campus in recent memory I think of spring 2015, right before Phoenix hosted Super Bowl 49, Jimmy Fallon made ASU Twitter go on a man-hunt for him when he tweeted a picture of himself at the Old Main building. 

In 1911, President Roosevelt also made an appearance at ASU. Unlike Jimmy Fallon, President Roosevelt stuck around to make a speech on the stairs of Old Main. This would probably crash Sun Devil Twitter today.

President Roosevelt praised the beginnings of the institution and hoped for a good future for our Sun Devil community.

"It is a pleasure to see such buildings and it is an omen of good augury for the future of the state to realize that a premium is being put upon the best type of educational work. Moreover, I have a special feeling for this institution, for seven of the men of my regiment came from it,” President Roosevelt said in his visiting speech.  

I know former President Barack Obama won't be reading this article, but him taking a selfie at Old Main would crash ASU's Twitter.

If a president's appearance was a big deal in 1911, it would be a notorious moment today.

With the evolution of social media, historic events won't just be included the textbooks and the opinions of journalists. Our tweets and social media posts would document everyone's different perspective on all notable events, and that's something generations before were not fortunate enough to have.

What are some historic events you think would go viral today?

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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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