I’ll start this post with a question for all my readers…
Would you agree that social media is faster than seismic waves?
Think about the last major earthquake – didn’t a lot of us reading this post tweet the moment we felt the earthquake?
It’s ironic, but instead of saving my life, I was busy tweeting about the “EARTHQUAKE.”
”” Ancita Satija (@ancitasatija) March 5, 2012
And so did others:
Earlier Earthquake meant reaching out to a safe place. NOW, it means reaching out to TWEET first.
”” Dushyant K. Mahant (@DKMahant) March 5, 2012
I don’t know if I should be proud of this, but then the fact remains that as the city of Delhi felt tremors on the night of March 5, I was busier tweeting about it than actually saving my life!
To me, this incident exemplifies how badly we are hooked on social media. Just like the glitterati from the worlds of fashion and business, we Twitterati are busy seeking the attention of our followers on the Twitterverse.
That said, is social media all that bad?
Multiple instances in the recent past tell us that social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become lifesavers. Through such platforms we are able to connect with our near and dear ones in real-time, and help in some way during calamities like earthquake, floods, fires, etc.
In fact, in recognition of the growing importance of social media during natural disasters and calamities, the American Red Cross, in collaboration with Dell, recently unveiled a new Digital Operations Center.
The Red Cross National Disaster Operations Center is modeled after Dell’s Social Media Listening Command Center, and uses Dell technology solutions and consulting services. In one of my earlier posts, I wrote about how Dell has been listening to its consumers through the launch of a dedicated Social Media Listening command center.
With this partnership, Dell isn’t just listening to what consumers have to say about its brands, but is helping people across the globe at the time of natural calamities as well.
According to a press release issued to announce the unveiling of Digital Operations center, this center will help Red Cross to:
- Source additional information from affected areas during emergencies to better serve those who need help;
- Spot trends and better anticipate the public’s needs; and
- Connect people with the resources they need, like food, water, shelter or even emotional support.
Isn’t it amazing how social media is being used for humanitarian causes? I firmly believe this is a great example of how a social organization can better prepare itself for humanitarian action in the 21st century.
That’s what I think… but what do you think?
Image: Geoff Livingston via Flickr, CC 3.0
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These days non profits are using pinterest to spread awareness and they are forgetting that social media tool can be the best for them
Hi @Ancita love your take on things. I am a pretty heavy twitter user. I don’t facebook very much. But I have be in a lot of groups of people recently and the people using their smart phone at any moment is still a minority. This guy in San Diego was hit in the chest with a foul baseball because he was trying to checkin on Facebook lol.
But the tools are great. Especially for emergencies social media, sms text allow people to connect quickly to get answers. The only problem I see for say Twitter is if a source of info for an emergency sends a tweet it can get lost in the 4,000+ tweets my feed get everyday. And if I have to find an account or hashtag it is almost the same as having a website bookmarked.
But compared to just 20 years ago before cell phones were prevalent all these tools can be life saving.
@HowieSPM Thanks Howie! I’m totally with you on the tweets getting lost. However, companies like Dell who have a Listening Command Center dedicated to tracking what people across the globe are saying, will definitely have special tools which can trace all the related tweets. But yea, for an individual to trace any sort of emergency tweets can be a task considering the daily stream of tweets they would be getting. Nonetheless, I believe Social Media is surely being utilized for good.
I agree, Ancita. I recently read about how non-profits are using Pinterest to raise awareness and funds for their causes. For the creative person, there’s a lot of ways to utilize social media for good!
@annedreshfield Oh! That’s interesting! I shall read up on that…, thanks for sharing :)
I’m right there with you Ancita. Often we look for the bad in things, but there is so much good happening via social media, and Twitter specifically. I think in general it has the ability to make us better people as we become more open and transparent in our daily lives.
@KenMueller Agree with you completely Ken! Social Media is getting into every aspect of our lives and yea definitely for the good :-)