It is little surprise that tweets were way up on Sunday night before President Obama made the formal announcement that al-Qaeda Leader Osama bin Laden was dead. In fact, it was the most active Twitter has ever been, reports SearchEngineLand.com. Yahoo!, too, reported a strong surge in searching about Bin Laden.
Not surprisingly, on Yahoo!, people wanted to know if he was dead, how he died, and who killed him. As a side note, people also wanted to know how tall he was. However, perhaps the most surprising question was “Who Is Osama Bin Laden?”
Having lived through 9/11 and its aftermath, it seems inconceivable that any Americans might not know just who this Bin Laden terrorist was! However, in a list of top 10 trending questions on Yahoo!, number 5 was “Who is Osama bin Laden?”
This baffling question points not to the lack of knowledge of the average American, thankfully, but rather to the age of online searchers. Fully 66 percent of those posing the question were 13 to 17 years old, according to SearchEngineLand.com.
While this might mystify the average online user, considering the extensive coverage given to al-Qaeda and bin Laden after the terrorist attack on US soil, it does speak to the future of this country. While one might expect that a 13-year-old is likely to be consumed with other topics, those at the other end of the teen year spectrum are also those who may soon be joining the ranks of the US military to go off and fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorist elements.
By the end of Monday, May 2, 2011, no one who has any, even fleeting, contact with the media of any sort (TV, newspapers, online sites) should have to pose the question, “Who is Osama Bin Laden?” At least one hopes so.