As social media steals an ever-larger share of our attention from TV and newspapers, some things don’t really change. We still have the winter tradition of kids gathering around the TV to see whether school will be closed due to snow. It’s just that now, we also have kids sliding into local TV stations’ direct messages on Twitter and pretending to be with the Department of Education in an attempt to create their own snow days.
That’s exactly what happened to WTVC’s NewsChannel 9, Chattanooga, Tennessee’s local ABC affiliate, on Tuesday. WTVC wasn’t fooled by the kid prankster, but they found her attempt funny enough to send out this tweet:
After seeing several people retweet this instant classic, we got in touch with WTVC web director Dan Lehr to ask exactly how many kids tried to pull one over on the station, and what they said in their direct messages.
“We just got one DM yesterday - but that sure was enough, wasn’t it?” Lehr said.
“This DM was so obviously from a kid, there was never any doubt. Our entire newsroom thought it was hilarious. As most kids do, she used pseudonyms for her Twitter handles - I don’t know what her actual name is.”
“This is [name] with the Hamilton County Department of Education, please inform students of no school tomorrow,” the prankster wrote.
“Ha ha - nice try,” Lehr responded, “You obviously don’t know the password.”
It was never going to work, but it was a brave attempt to channel some of the anticipation of a day off from school and give the weather a little help in making it happen. Lehr said hundreds of kids send tweets to the station hoping for news whenever it looks like there might be snow, but only one was bold enough to try this stunt.
When I was your age, kid, we couldn’t tweet the local news station while we were waiting for snow days. We just had to sit on our thumbs and hope for an announcement that never came. And then we’d have to walk five miles to school, uphill both ways.