On October 15th , the US watched as a family feared that one of their own was “floating above Colorado”, as they believed their youngest boy had untied a UFO type balloon and was inside it as it floated away. The story was more than one trending topic on twitter and was on all of the news stations. There was even a boyintheballoon twitter account was created before the balloon landed. Yet it was still hard to believe that this young boy was floating above Colorado.
People were right not to believe. By that night, the young boy had spilled the beans on Larry King Live that it was all for show. Within four days CNN broke the news that the authorities had reason to believe the incident was a hoax. Yet, a week later, Balloon Boy is still a trending topic on Twitter, is still in the news, and is the background of so many jokes that are out there.
Thanks to social media the Henne family got what they were looking for, attention. As a former reality TV family from Wife Swap, the Henne family was looking for another reality show. Was this the kind of reality show they wanted? In the past week they’ve been on a variety of TV shows, had plenty of national coverage, and have been one of the major topics in social media. You can’t really ask for more attention than that.
The exact details of what happened that day are known only by the members of the Henne family, and we may never know the full truth of what happened. Yet, do we even care? Using the tools that are at our fingertips daily, people around the country were able to come to their own conclusions of what happened and share them with thousands of people. The Henne family definitely got America’s attention.
So why are we continuing to talk about it almost a week later? Why am I writing this blog about it? Because it’s fascinating how a story out of a town in Colorado can spread across the country within minutes. Speculation beginning immediately after the story broke. When Michael Jackson passed away in June, it was a trending topic on Twitter for weeks. In fact a good portion of people found out on Twitter or Facebook. The day before that no one said much about Michael Jackson. Imagine what would have happened if we had Twitter during the OJ Simpson trial.