(Editor’s note: Michael Foroobar, a contributor at VentureBeat, attends the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech’s traditional rival a short two-hour drive away.)

Please take a moment of silence for those affected by the massacre at Virginia Tech yesterday, the worst shooting of its kind in U.S. history.

Waking up yesterday morning to news of a shooting at Virginia Tech was a tragedy. But hearing the fatality count jump from one to twenty in the blink of an eye and then settle at thirty two was surreal. There had to be some mistake–maybe they meant casualty instead of fatality? I was on the phone all afternoon with friends and family as I am sure many of my peers were. Tech’s Collegiate Times offers the most complete coverage of yesterday’s events.

The outpouring of grief was particularly immense on Facebook. 500+ groups show up on a search for “tech shooting.” Students across the nation dropped their rivalries, joined groups, offered support and sympathy, and used the site to plan vigils and other remembrance events. People often look down on these sites as a fad but their real power is evident through demonstrations such as this. My prayers go out to all those affected, their friends and families.

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