Tuesday, 17 January 2012

News of ET contact will likely first come from social media channels

Social media channels like Twitter and Facebook have developed into valuable news delivering and receiving platforms. Social media services are accessible on desktop computers, laptop computers, tablet computers, smartphones, and even televisions. In this constantly connected world, social media has become the fastest way to disseminate breaking news. It stands to reason then that social media will be used to broadcast news of extraterrestrial contact. And those who actively follow social media channels will likely be among the first to know about any such contact.
The BBC recently reported that news of extraterrestrial contact “may reach most people via a tweet from a Seti astronomer.” And according to the Daily Mail, because of the instant nature of social media, you might know about ET contact before a government agency does.
SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) astronomers recently explained that they “have no obligation to report [contact] to an official body, and can simply inform people what they have discovered and they do not know of any formal procedure of how to deal with it.” Once an extraterrestrial signal is detected, it will be up to the man who heads up SETI’s Post-detection Teskgroup, Arizona State University professor Paul Davies, to respond. What type of response does Davies have in mind? He told the BBC that a response “would have to be something aliens and humans could both understand . . . at a mathematics and physics level.”
Hopefully the extraterrestrials who do make contact are better at those subjects than I, because I am not very good with math or physics.
You can read more about the power of social media as an information/news tool in the December/January issue of Open Minds magazine.