The 'Great Eclipse' and Social Media

We're less than eleven days until the 'Great Eclipse', which has people talking more and more at home, and online.

This will be the first eclipse over U.S. skies in the social media age.

While some social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are a little more than a decade old, they're already being used as an important tool to learn more and to experience the 'Great Eclipse'.

"There's a lot of stuff on there," said Liam Coursey. Before he sees the eclipse, he's learning how he and others can be ready for it.

"I've seen a lot of people giving advice for people who run our local businesses, to be sure they stock up on things to really make sure we're going  to have a really good weekend for that," he says.

Madisonville Community Development Director Summer Crick says social media's becoming one of the best ways to inform watchers of the eclipse, and events surrounding it. This month's will be the first over the skies of the U.S. in the social media age. Madisonville's Solar Madness 2017 Facebook page has nearly 1,100 likes.

"With marketing, how it's been coming, we're able to target the right people, the people that are interested in what we have to offer for a specific event like the eclipse," she says.

Crick adds they're careful when advertising or posting to prevent false info from circulating.

"People have sent a lot of private messages about stuff they want to advertise," Crick says. "So, we've taken the proper precautions that we're not advertising something that  is not safe or not true."

Crick predicts photos and clips will be shared in the coming weeks, but many could wait until they're away from crowds or when they get a better signal. Coursey plans to stay off line for those few minutes of darkness.

" I want to see it because it's not going to happen forever until now," he says.

Cell service providers like Verizon and AT&T plan to bring in extra cell towers in places like Hopkinsville where big crowds are expected.

(This story was originally published on August 11, 2017)

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