Titanic tweets: Some say they didn’t know Titanic wasn’t ‘just a film’

April 10, 2012

Social media is a great tool to capture the zeitgeist of the moment, and the Twittersphere has lit up as users talk about the centennial of the Titanic disaster and the 3D re-release of James Cameron’s epic 1997 film.

Sometimes, though, you capture something you didn’t really want to know. Like a handful of tweets from people who didn’t know that the Titanic was a real ship and not one simply born of Cameron’s imagination. Gothamist picked up an item Tuesday from PocketGamer’s Keith Andrews showing a collection of tweets from users expressing their surprise after learning that a ship called the Titanic did, in fact, sink in April 1912.

“[Is] it bad that I didn’t know the titanic was real? Always thought it was just a film,” wrote one Twitter user. “[I’m] never going on a cruise,” wrote another.

I could launch into a disbelieving rant, but, surely. . .these Twitter users are kidding, right? Learning about the “unsinkable” ship was a staple of my school curriculum — used often to show the concept of irony — and by the time the movie came out in 1997, I had already been given the ice-cube tray demonstration of how the Titanic’s “watertight” design failed to stop her from sinking.

If these Twitter users aren’t kidding, I’d recommend they look to another feed, from the History Channel. Using the hashtag #TITANIC, the network is real-time tweeting the tragic maiden voyage of the unsinkable ship, starting with its arrival in Cherbourg, France to pick up “mail & more passengers.”

For those who are even more interested in the Titanic and its history, Ancestry.com has made its Titanic archives open to the public for the week (April 9-15) to let amateur historians look up information on the ship’s passenger lists and survivor records.

Related stories:

Gallery: Titanic: 100 years of history

Titanic memorial cruise: Splendor on the seas, without the sinking (PHOTOS)

The Washingtonians aboard the Titanic

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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