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Jonathon Cole Baird
Professor Elizabeth Cowan
English-005-07
10 December 201
!he "ocial #edia "torm
$ant to %now the score of the most recent bas%etball game at school& 'oogle it( )ow abo*t the
statistics of e+er, -la,er& !hat can be googled as well( .ccess to the internet has o-ened doors for
almost an, -iece of information to be gathered from all o+er the world( $hether it/s from an iPhone or
des%to- com-*ter0 *sing social media -latforms s*ch as 1ahoo20 3aceboo%0 !witter0 and 1o*!*be
wo*ld be none4istent witho*t the internet( 5n man, res-ects0 the 3aceboo%s0 !witters0 1o*!*bes and
1ahoo2s ha+e all become an integral -art of e+er,da, life for man, -eo-le with res-ecti+e access( 5t/s
diffic*lt to imagine getting thro*gh a da, witho*t *sing it on some le+el( 6sers ha+e the abilit, to cater
the ma7orit, of information the, want to be e4-osed to( 3or e4am-le0 the front -age of 1ahoo2 can not
onl, tell s-orts fans the latest scores0 b*t an, news ranging from to what J*stin Bieber has to sa, to his
8)aters9 to recent !,-hoon )ai,an disaster relief :;ang<( !here0 1ahoo2 often -ro+ides lin%s to related
1o*!*be +ideos0 as well as 8share9 b*ttons to 3aceboo% and !witter0 th*s enabling *sers to stir *-
con+ersations0 informing those within their own networ%s of 8followers9 and 8friends(9 "ocial media
connects *sers to the world aro*nd them in wa,s a -hone call nor hand-written letter e+er co*ld( !his
recent integration of social media and news access has sa+ed li+es all across the world from nat*ral
disaster(
5f someone a h*ndred ,ears ago wanted to %ee- in to*ch with a friend half-wa, across the
co*ntr,0 the, had +er, few o-tions( "*re0 the two co*ld +isit and catch *-0 or e+en write letters( .s time
cons*ming as handwriting a message or boarding a train to +isit a close friend ma, seem now0 it *sed to
be the onl, wa, and man, acce-ted it as timel, and con+enient( =ow0 a sim-le "%,-e call or 3aceboo%
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timeline -ost com-letes the same tas%> it gets the same 8message9 across in a fraction of the time( $h,
send a letter with a de+elo-ed -hoto attached to it when a sna-chat0 or two0 or three0 can do it for them&
Cell -hones0 webcams0 e+en cell -hones with enabled webcams allow so man, -eo-le to s-are
co*ntless ho*rs waiting for their connecting flight at the air-ort0 onl, to sla+e thro*gh traffic all the
wa, home( $hat was once a letter later became an email0 and what was once an email now e+ol+ed
into instant message( .d+ancements in technolog, ha+e greatl, accelerated the -rocess of
comm*nication thro*gh social media(
"ocial media can be bro%en down into three main -latforms? 3aceboo%0 !witter and 1o*!*be(
Each -rogram ta%es ad+antage of a certain medi*m to networ% indi+id*als and firms( 3aceboo%0
-robabl, the most commonl, %nown -latform0 allows 8friends9 to 8li%e9 and 8share9 -osts abo*t
whate+er the, -lease( 6sers ha+e the abilit, to share a f*ll cha-ter to a boo% on a stat*s if the, wanted
to( 5n addition to that0 b*sinesses ha+e the abilit, to interact with their cons*mer base witho*t accessing
their -ersonal information( 6sers can also create different -rofiles based on what their networ%ing
goals( 5f a b*siness or an organization wants to connect with their c*stomers0 *sing their -ersonal
-rofile to 8friend9 them might cross some ethical bo*ndaries( $ith 8-ages09 b*siness owners and
organizations ha+e the ca-abilit, to -ost on behalf of their com-an, witho*t being able to see an,
-ersonal information other than what the c*stomer -osts onto the -age(
"ometimes sim-licit, is %e, to effecti+e comm*nication( . diffic*lt learning c*r+e can diss*ade
*sers from rel,ing on certain social media -latforms( $ith !witter0 *sers ha+e the o-tion to 8tweet9
witho*t a cell*lar data connection and can *se "#"0also %nown as "hort #essage "er+ice0 what most
cell*lar te4t messages are sent thro*gh0 b, te4ting their 8tweet9 to a s-ecific -hone n*mber( $hen the,
are connected to a data ser+ice0 the, can +iew0 fa+orite0 retweet and tag other *sers to share
information( !he sim-licit, behind !witter is that -osts are strictl, limited to 1@0 characters( 5f one
feels the need to e4-and on whate+er he or she is sa,ing0 the, can sim-l, -ost another tweet( !his is
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great for com-anies or -eo-le who might need to -ost s-oradic and sim-le *-dates on deals at a store
or e+en a storm warning or terrorist attac%( !he %e, to !witter is in fact sim-licit,0 which has *sed that
mere conce-t to e+ol+e into a m*lti-billion dollar com-an,(
)a+ing the abilit, to -ost a random +ideo onto 1o*!*be for millions to see has become a
+al*able tool for sharing information( C*rrent -o-*lar recording artists s*ch as J*stin Bieber and
.*stin #ahone were disco+ered thro*gh this media -latform( 5f a +iewer li%es what he or she is
watching0 similar to man, other -osts0 the, ha+e the abilit, to networ% their disco+eries with others
8s*bscribed9 to them( !his conce-t is not s-ecific onl, to m*sic celebrities> man, +ideogra-hers and
other artists rel, on 1o*!*be and +ario*s +ideo streaming websites in order to share their wor% with
-otential clients and em-lo,ers( #*sical artists0 news channels0 mo+ie -rod*ction com-anies and
+ario*s entre-rene*rs *tilize this -latform and -rofit from it( 5f the, donAt ha+e 1o*t*be acco*nts0 an,
+iewer still retains access to the information( !hro*gh email0 one can create +ario*s acco*nts all o+er
social media -latforms( .nd with those -latforms0 *sers can share their information on a more
organized le+el( )owe+er0 when one integrates m*lti-le -latforms with one idea0 a tweet co*ld ,ield a
lin% to a 3aceboo% -age0 which has embedded 1o*!*be +ideo -la,ers thro*gho*t their 8wall9 or
8timeline(9 $hile social media -latforms -ro+ide as a sim-le and accessible medi*m for information
acB*isition0 there are some o--ositions against its *se(
!ho*gh technological im-ro+ements ha+e made sharing ideas m*ch easier and more
con+enient0 there are critics o*t there who belie+e social media is destro,ing traditional face to face
comm*nication( !herefore0 some -eo-le tr, to minimize their internet accessibilit, in order to -reser+e
a certain and familiar wa, of life( )*ffington Post Blogger0 'lennon #elton0 wrote a -iece on how
social media was 8bad9 for her( 5n it0 she describes an e4-erience ta%ing her children to a high school
football game( "he said for the most -art0 e+er,one stood in aw%ward social circles0 8tr,ing to get
noticed((((li%e we did in high school(9 "he noted one ma7or difference?
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ECED1 E5D $E ".$ was on her -hone( 5 *nderstood( !here is so m*ch hot loneliness
in high school that if 5/d had a -hone bac% then0 5/d li%el, ha+e melted into it com-letel,
to a+oid m, feelings( #a,be 5/d ha+e become addicted to m, -hone instead of food( B*t
still0 it felt sad to me( Beca*se e+er,bod, was there0 b*t not reall, there( E+er,bod, was
together0 b*t not reall, together( E+er,bod, seemed somewhere else and alone( 5 thin%
too m*ch life s-ent on social media can ma%e *s -er-et*all, somewhere else and alone(
:5 Deasons<
3or the most -art0 #elton disa--ro+es of social media *se and belie+es it diminishes -ersonal social
s%ills( "omething to note is that #elton herself felt sad0 ,et each child was on their -hone0 and none of
them were com-laining( $h, not let them stand aw%wardl, in a circle and 3aceboo% stal% or tweet&
. st*d, at the 6ni+ersit, of "o*thern CaliforniaAs .nnenberg "chool re+ealed 8the -ercentage of
-eo-le re-orting less face-to-face time with famil, in their homes rose from FG in 2000 to @G in
20119 .lso0 2G of those who were s*r+e,ed re-orted the, s-ent famil, mealtimes on their -hones
with social media 8instead of tal%ing with famil, or friends9 :"ocial =etwor%ing<( $hile traditional
comm*nication might be changing0 the ones gl*ed to their -hones might in fact be the first to learn
abo*t an incoming storm warning or terrorist attac% o+erseas0 -otentiall, sa+ing e+er,one at that e+ent(
.s times change0 -eo-le and their +al*es follow0 and while face to face interaction might be a
trade off for social media0 #elton did wisel, note at the +er, end of her -iece how its *se recentl,
raised H12002FF for a charit, in+ol+ing families in need in less than 12 ho*rs :'*ardian<( Ine thing she
needs to consider is that witho*t social media0 her blog wo*ld -robabl, not recei+e nearl, as m*ch
traffic as it wo*ld witho*t( 5n addition0 that large s*m of mone, wo*ld -robabl, not be the same( !o the
left of the article0 there are icon lin%s enabling *sers to share her -iece with their networ%s> more than
0000 -eo-le shared that article thro*gh social media( 5n addition0 her last sentence reads0 8=ow if ,o*
will e4c*se me0 5 ha+e to go 3aceboo% and !weet the hec% o*t of this -ost9 :5 Deasons<(
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!he familiar -ractice of face to face comm*nication might be on a downfall0 b*t again0 times
change0 -eo-le change0 and +al*es change as well( ;aws which once restricted s-ecific religio*s
affiliations0 allowed racial discrimination and -re+ented marriage eB*alit, ha+e now been altered0 e+en
abolished0 in co*ntries all across the world( !he definition of what is and is not sociall, acce-table
e+ol+es e+er, single da,( 5f tradition was ne+er challenged0 h*mans wo*ld still be rel,ing on horses to
get them from -oint . to -oint B( 5magine how m*ch faster societ, wo*ld ha+e -rogressed sociall, and
scientificall, if modern access to information was a+ailable a cent*r, earlier( $h, sho*ld one
com-letel, sh*t o*t social media *tilization for an o*tdated -ractice of face to face comm*nication
when millions aro*nd the world co*ld benefit from its *se& Balancing both old and new c*stoms co*ld
change so m*ch( 5f social media reliance had more of a -rominent role in e+er,da, life0 man, of those
who lost their li+es in nat*ral and disasters s*ch as )*rricane Eatrina0 )*rricane "and,0 J110
!,-hoon )ai,an and the .rab *-risings might still be wal%ing toda,(
!he first widel,-noted e4am-le of social media being *sed in times of distress occ*rred before
the 3aceboo%s and !witters societ, has come to %now were f*ll, de+elo-ed( In J*l, 70 20050 a terrorist
attac% ,ielded e4-losions on three b*ses0 si4 s*bwa,s0 and a n*mber of cars thro*gho*t ;ondon0
ca*sing the entire cit,As trans-ort s,stem to be sh*t down( !his attac% %illed 52 and in7*red more than
700 :C== ;ibrar,<( Prior to the modern era of smart-hones0 where tweeting and s*rfing the web were
not as wides-read0 cell*lar de+ices recentl, added a camera o-tion0 8-hotos ta%en b, -eo-le on the
scene were sent to others who *sing com-*ters *-loaded them to 3lic%r0 a -hoto sharing website(((the
-hotos ta%en b, -eo-le showed images of news re-orts on on tele+ision0 as well as images e4-ressing
condolences to -eo-le affected b, the attac%9 :Pear, 5<( !his conce-t of ha+ing one single -latform to
share -hotos on a--ears barbaric com-ared to -resent da, technolog,0 where there is now designated
8a--9 for almost an, -roblem %nown to man%ind(
)*rricane Eatrina in 2005 ser+es as an e4cellent e4am-le of e+ents that co*ld ha+e *sed social
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media( !he federal go+ernment was hea+il, criticized for their *ntimel, res-onse and leadershi- to the
disaster( D*ssell "( "obel0 an Economics -rofessor at $est Cirginia 6ni+ersit,0 wrote in the Jo*rnal of
=at*ral Disaster "cience?
!ho*gh the citizens of =ew Irleans0 the media0 and co*ntless others were
aware of the im-ending and e+ent*al disaster ca*sed b, )*rricane Eatrina0 %e,
go+ernment relief management Lg*res0 it a--ears0 were not M or at least did not
ofLciall, ac%nowledge that this was the case( "ecretar, of the De-artment of
)omeland "ec*rit,0 #ichael Chertoff0 for e4am-le0 did not declare )*rricane
Eatrina an 8incident of national signiLcance9 *ntil K ho*rs after it made
landfall( !his occ*rred des-ite the fact on .*g*st 27th M two da,s before
EatrinaAs arri+al M the =ational )*rricane Center -redicted Eatrina wo*ld hit
the '*lf Coast( :"obel K1<
$hile modern social media was not in -lace0 #,s-ace0 often seen as 3aceboo%As -redecessor0
3aceboo% and 1o*!*be were all *- and r*nning0 b*t on a m*ch smaller scale( !he integration of social
media access with smart-hones has tremendo*sl, s%,roc%eted their -o-*larit,(
!a%e 3aceboo%0 for e4am-le( .s of =o+ember 2010 this -latform connects more than 1(2K
billion *sers across the world to each other( #ore than 72F million -eo-le *se 3aceboo% on a dail,
basis and are commonl, referred to as D.6s0 or dail, acti+e *sers in the Digital #ar%eting 5nd*str,
:1o* $on/t Belie+e<( .nother so*rce with fig*res acc*rate as of .*g*st 201 re-orted three things?
8N!heirO global mobile dail, acti+e *ser co*nt increased 10(G from @25 million to @KP million from
Q1 to Q2 201(9 7FG of *sers are 8mobile(9 .n a+erage of 72(1G of .mericans and Britons :71(5G
and 72(7G res-ecti+el,< are dail, 8mobile9 *sers :Constine<( !he fig*res ha+e been rising steadil,
each ,ear0 re+ealing a s-read of social media *tilization thro*gho*t not onl, the 6nited "tates and
6nited Eingdom0 b*t other -arts of the world as well(
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!he iPhone0 loo%ed at as one of the most defining cons*mer items of o*r generation0 was not
,et in stores( 5t set the bar for smart-hones0 and with its sim-licit,0 the demogra-hic of modern
smart-hone *sers grew dramaticall,( =ow0 man, com-anies s*ch as "ams*ng and =o%ia base their
smart-hone designs on the iPhoneAs0 with social media a--lications0 *ser-friendliness etc( . recent
st*d, showed P1G of .mericans now own cell -hones( !hat same st*d, re+ealed 5KG of the same -ool
s*r+e,ed own smart-hones :"mart-hone Iwnershi-<( Bac% in the earl, 2000s0 cons*mers were l*c%, if
the, had a -hone with camera and internet ca-abilities( . 2005 st*d, re+ealed onl, KF(7G of .merican
ad*lts owned cell -hones :!*c%el<( .ss*ming the smart-hone to non smart-hone ownershi- ratio did
not remain constant d*ring )*rricane Eatrina0 it can be concl*ded that mobile and des%to- social
media c*lt*re was not -re+alent eno*gh to infl*ence go+ernment res-onse in the disaster(
!he federal go+ernment clearl, did not ta%e a strong eno*gh role earl, on in this e+ent(
3(E(#(.( :3ederal Emergenc, #anagement .genc,< director #ichael BrownAs res-onse to the disaster
was 8*nacce-table9 in the words of President B*sh and was soon remo+ed as director( !he 6("( Coast
'*ard began relief efforts witho*t waiting on 3E#. nor go+ernment a--ro+al0 a mo+e that landed
their Cice .dmiral0 !had .llen0 BrownAs old -osition( $hile .llenAs mo+es were admirable0 it failed to
o+ershadow the ab*ndance of federal mista%es( BrownAs lac% of leadershi- is shown here?
N)eO onl, became aware that h*rricane +ictims in =ew Irleans had been mo+ed to one
of the cit,As con+ention centers after being informed of this fact b, a tele+ision
7o*rnalist( In =ightline0 Brown admitted0 8$e 7*st learned of the Con+ention Center M
we being the federal go+ernment M toda,(9 1F .s =ew 1or% !imes 7o*rnalist Da+id
Broo%s -*t it0 8Eatrina was the most antici-ated nat*ral disaster in .merican histor,0
and still go+ernment managed to fail at e+er, le+el( :"obel K2<
5magine if *sers had iPhones and co*ld ha+e tweeted their locations( $hat if the, didnAt %now e4actl,
where the, were& #odern technolog, co*ld ha+e gi+en them the tools to -ost a +ideo on 1o*!*be
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showing them their +antage -oint and informing their s*bscribers0 followers or 8friends9 of their
location( !hat lin% co*ld then be tweeted or shared onto their 3aceboo% -age( 1es0 medi*ms s*ch as
!witter and 3aceboo% ha+e gi+en *sers the abilit, to share witho*t the assistance of other sites0 b*t the
abilit, to a*tomaticall, s,nc -osts with other -latforms has re+ol*tionized information channeling(
Dather than co-,ing and -asting a tweet to a 3aceboo% stat*s0 *sers now ha+e the o-tion to
a*tomaticall, share each -ost sim*ltaneo*sl,( !his technolog, co*ld ha+e sa+ed tho*sands of li+es0
-otentiall, -rom-ting a more timel, and efficient res-onse b, members of the federal go+ernment(
)*rricane "and, in 20120 while a great traged,0 f*nctions as an e4cellent contrast to )*rricane
Eatrina( $hile the go+ernment was criticized for their lac% of res-onse0 +ario*s go+ernment agencies
li%e 3(E(#(.( ste--ed *- and finall, *sed !witter to feed *-dates to 8tweeters9 d*ring )*rricane
"and,0 810J0 )igh winds are still in man, areas( DonAt to*chJmo+e downed -ower lines> re-ort them
to ,o*r -ower com-an, immediatel, R"and,( 10J0 R"and, safet, ti-? DonAt wal% or wade thro*gh
flood water( 5t can contain harmf*l chemicals0 to4ins0 and e+en raw sewage9 :1eats<( $hile some might
arg*e those tweets contain common sense0 not e+er,one is well-+ersed on dealing with these scenarios(
5n another tweet0 3E#. -ro+ided a -hoto for their follower base0 811J1 Photo? 3E#.
Comm*nit, Delations "-ecialist are answering B*estions in areas damaged b, R"and,9 :1eats<( "*re0
this -hoto might not directl, sa+e an,oneAs life0 b*t it does show the organization was tr,ing to o-enl,
interact with those affected b, the nat*ral disaster( 83E#.As *se of !witter e4-oses the -*blic to the
-eo-le inside 3E#. in action0 shedding new light on how the go+ernment reacts to nat*ral disasters9
:1eats<( Co*ld this be an attem-t to reco+er from the go+ernmentAs -oor res-onse d*ring Eatrina& 1es0
it co*ld0 b*t the -ast is the -ast and all we can do is tr, o*r best to -re+ent histor, from re-eating itself(
!hro*gh social media *tilization0 it is -ossible(
Can social media -re+ent a nat*ral disaster from occ*rring& $ith modern technolog,0 -robabl,
not( )owe+er0 its integration did -ro+e *sef*l on #arch 110 2011 when a magnit*de P earthB*a%e hit
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east Ja-an0 with a ts*nami following as a res*lt( $hile the Ja-anese were fort*nate to recei+e te4t
messages and other notifications warning them abo*t the earthB*a%e a min*te before0 tho*sands of
-eo-le lost their li+es( !his notification s,stem -re+ented e+en more cas*alties b, 8sto--ing high-s-eed
trains and factor, assembl, lines9 :Is%in<( $hile this was accom-lished from a te4t message ser+ice0
all social media -latforms sho*ld ta%e a more acti+e role in wor%ing with go+ernment agencies( D*ring
J110 8!witter -*blished a blog -ost in Ja-anese and English with an e4-lanation of how to *se !witter
d*ring the disaster and the hashtags for different to-ics( !witter also -*blished a mobile -hone website
with the same information(9 "ince onl, a small n*mber of Ja-anese -eo-le had !witter a--lication-
accessible de+ices0 gi+ing access man, modern internet accessible cell -hones0 made the information
!witter and others -ro+ided accessible to ro*ghl, P1G of the Ja-an/s -o-*lation :Pear, 7<( Phones
often connect to two different networ%s? cell*lar and internet( 5f a te4t message is sent o*t0 and the cell
towers aren/t wor%ing0 the message won/t be recei+ed( 5f *sers are connected to the internet from a
wireless connection0 social media integration wo*ld allow for those same disaster warnings to be
recei+ed0 sa+ing li+es thro*gho*t the co*ntr,(
3aceboo% also -la,ed a h*ge role in the disaster relief -rocess( !ho*gh it had not been +er,
-o-*lar in Ja-an ,et0 the largest social media -latform in the world enabled *sers who heard abo*t J11
to s-read the word0 sharing news with their own networ%( 8#an, -eo-le aro*nd the world learned
abo*t the disaster thro*gh 3aceboo% and *sed NitO to e4-ress their s*--ort as well as donate to the relief
effort(((3aceboo%0 as an organization0 also hel-ed o*t in the disaster b, -ro+iding a centralized -age for
disaster information called Disaster Delief0 acc*m*lating more than KF00000 li%es9 :Pear, F<( Ja-anese
*sers were also gi+en information regarding blac%o*ts and train ser+ices at the to- of their =ews 3eeds0
8the first -age *sers see when the, log into 3aceboo%9 :Pear, F<( $hile social media canAt do an,thing
to -re+ent disasters li%e this from occ*rring0 it does enable indi+id*als and gro*-s to donate and be
informed> %nowledge is -ower(
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!he recent e+ents in+ol+ing the Phili--ines and !,-hoon )ai,an ha+e left millions affected0
with more than 0K7 dead0 two identified as .mericans0 and tho*sands more missing( #ore than three
million -eo-le ha+e been dis-laced from their homes d*e to forces o*tside of their control :"il+a<(
=eeding h*ndreds of millions of dollars in s*--ort0 the Phili--ines is ta%ing an, %ind of donation the,
can get( Ine s*rgeon b, the name of Dr( E+angeline C*a raised o+er the eB*i+alent of H@F0000 within
2@ ho*rs *sing social media0 8there were gashes to be treated0 tetan*s shots to be gi+en and medicine to
be dis-ensed( Peo-le gathered at the front of the ch*rch and formed an orderl, B*e*e while Dr( C*a got
to wor%9 :B*ncombe<( 5n that short s-an of time0 with a sim-le clic% of the b*tton 8-ost09 eno*gh
mone, had been raised for a 8dis-atch of a nine strong team9 with a s*--l, of medicine( =at*ral
disaster tend to lead to health crises s*ch as cholera and t,-hoid o*tbrea%s0 diarrhea etc( $ith the
mone, sheAs been able to raise from that one clic%0 h*ndreds of li+es will be sa+ed( #ore than HF0
million has been -ro-osed to f*nd the disaster relief :"il+a<( In December @0 2010 J*stin Bieber of all
-eo-le0 *sed a social media cam-aign to raise more than HK000000 for )ai,an relief( . common
criticism in the article comment section was that he sho*ld ha+e -aid for the mone, o*t of his own
-oc%et instead of fishing it o*t from all of the 8teen heartthrob9 fan base for a chance to 8hang o*t9
while he records his ne4t alb*m :.ssociated Press<( 5n his defense0 writing a -ersonal chec% might be
the 8easier9 sol*tion0 b*t *sing social media to ad+ertise a serio*s to a crowd of teenagers who
-robabl, wo*ld not donate to an iss*e witho*t s*ch an incenti+e is +er, strategic( .gain0 %nowledge is
-ower(
5f the remaining Beach Bo,s were swa--ed into J*stin Bieber/s -lace0 -romising a 8hang o*t9
d*ring their ne4t0 and -robabl, final alb*m recording0 a HK000000 donation t*rno*t from Bieber/s fan
base wo*ld be highl, *nli%el,( .*diences will sometimes belie+e an,thing their idols or tr*sted so*rces
sa,( .nother common criticism of social media *se is the iss*e of information acc*rac,( In
ProCon(org0 the n*mber one listed 8Con9 states0 8"ocial media enables the s-read of *nreliable and
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false information( @P(1G of -eo-le ha+e heard false news +ia social media9 :"ocial =etwor%ing<( 5n an
inter+iew with Ilga D( Dodrig*ez of )*ffington Post $orld and =etzah*alco,otl0 #e4ico cit, co*ncil
s-o%esman ;*is Percastre recalls social media ca*sing ha+oc thro*gho*t his comm*nit,?
;ast ,ear0 two -eo-le in the '*lf Coast cit, of Ceracr*z were detained and acc*sed of
terrorism and sabotage after re-tweeting r*mors abo*t g*nmen attac%ing schools and
%idna--ing children( !he r*mors hel-ed set off chaos0 and n*mero*s traffic accidents
occ*rred as -anic%ed -arents r*shed to get their children( !he two were later released
after -ress*re from freedom of e4-ression gro*-s led -rosec*tors to withdraw criminal
charges( :Dodrig*ez<
.s a res*lt of this0 schools were sh*t down0 b*sinesses were closed0 and 8-edestrian and motor traffic
declined notabl, in =etzah*alco,otl0 a cit, of 1(1 million9 Pedestrians e+en left town for a neighboring
cit,0 5zta-ala-a(
$hile social media can lead -eo-le to ca*se ha+oc thro*gho*t their comm*nities0 the ProCon
website re-orted its n*mber one Pro0 8I+er 50G of -eo-le learn abo*t brea%ing news on social media(
K5G of traditional media re-orters and editors *se sites li%e 3aceboo% and ;in%ed5n for stor, research0
and 52G *se !witter( ( ( !witter and 1o*!*be *sers re-orted the J*l, 200 2012 .*rora CI theatre
shooting before news crews co*ld arri+e on the scene(9 5n addition0 the so*rce also mentions how Ded
Cross has enco*raged +ictims to inform others of their safet, and well-being :"ocial =etwor%ing<(
E+en 8traditional9 media re-orters are *sing social media as reso*rces now( $hile there ha+e been
instances of false information floating aro*nd 3aceboo% and !witter0 there is also an ab*ndance of tr*e
things ho+ering the networ%s as well( Del,ing on credible so*rces and cross referencing information is
an effecti+e wa, to be -ro-erl, informed( .lso0 so*rces in face to face comm*nication can be
misinformed0 leading to similar iss*es that ;*is Percastre described in =etzah*alco,otl( "ocial media
Baird 12
has the -ower to sa+e li+es0 and in terms of nat*ral disaster0 the -hotos and +ideos that accommodate
these headlining stories of traged, all o+er the world are often e4tremel, diffic*lt to arg*e as
inacc*rate(
.s technolog, ad+ances0 more and more will contin*e to gain access to the information s*-er
highwa,( $hether it is a 3aceboo% stat*s regarding a s-orts score0 a tweet -ro+iding disaster relief ti-s0
or e+en a new hit m*sic +ideo on 1o*!*be0 its a*dience is growing e+er, single da,( Ine -ost0
combined with the correct timing and amo*nt of 8li%es09 8retweets9 or e+en 8shares09 contains the
-otential to inform millions of *sers across the -lanet on a wide arra, of s*b7ects( =at*ral disaster relief
is a h*ge iss*e in modern societ,( 6tilizing social media to -ro+ide financial and moral s*--ort to those
who need it is something face to face comm*nication cannot do alone( . tweet can cross the globe in a
matter or seconds for free0 where a -hone call might r*n a n*mber of fees and com-lications( "ocial
media is not the onl, wa, to tac%le the iss*e of nat*ral disaster relief( )owe+er0 with the increase in
smart-hone and mobile de+ice ownershi- as well as reliance on email and the internet0 the 3aceboo%s0
!witters0 1o*!*bes and e+en 1ahoo2s increase the demand for constant access into n*mero*s areas of
information(
5n the end0 some -eo-le might -rioritize %ee-ing *- with those Eardashians rather than sending
a few dollars to +ictims of t,-hoon )ai,an or other nat*ral disasters( #an, -eo-le might disagree with
that -reference0 b*t the information is there if the, need it( .nd while both scenarios are highl,
*nli%el,0 Eim0 EhloS and Eo*rtne, :Eardashian< might e+en be the ones to tweet abo*t an incoming
storm alert or their newl, de+elo-ed disaster relief fo*ndation( 3ace to face comm*nication is a
+al*able asset to modern societ,( Peo-le ha+e *sed it for cent*ries and contin*e to do so toda, beca*se
it -ro+ides e+er,one with certain things a te4t message0 letter nor -hone call e+er co*ld( .t the same
time0 it wo*ld not be fair to state this 8tradition9 is the right and onl, wa, to comm*nicate( Disaster
Baird 1
relief does not ha+e a 8one size fits all9 sol*tion( 5t will come down to a strong combination of new and
old ideas0 integrating the -ower of social media with the +al*es face to face comm*nication can
con+e,( !here is a direct correlation between access to technolog, and e4-os*re to social media( .s
de+ice cons*m-tion increased0 so did social media *sage(
!hose who ha+e access to social media are therefore more li%el, to ta%e action in the world
beca*se the, ha+e e4-os*re to more of it2 =at*ral disaster is onl, a fraction of the n*mero*s -roblems
h*mans has to deal with( $ith that being said0 e+er,one needs a hel-ing hand at some -oint in their
life( !here are millions of -eo-le who ha+e their homes destro,ed to no real fa*lt of their own( !hose
are the -eo-le that need hel- first( $ho %nows& #a,be those being dis-laced from their homes ha+e
the %e, to c*ring cancer or ending world h*nger( .ll the, need is a fair chance( . small -ersonal
donation to the Ded Cross from 3aceboo% or e+en a retweet towards a s-ecial ca*se can go a long wa,
towards the greater good( .t the end of the da,0 e+er, tweet0 li%e0 share and stat*s co*nts( !he social
media storm is onl, getting started(
Baird 1@
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Baird 15
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"mith0 Craig( T1o* $on/t Belie+e !hese 10@ .mazing 3aceboo% "tats2 :6-dated =o+ember 201< W
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"obel0 D*ssell "(0 and Peter !( ;eeson( T'o+ernmentAs Des-onse to )*rricane Eatrina? . P*blic Choice
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