Social Networking as a Lifeline in Japan Disaster

Social media/networking sites have become a vital tool in the disaster that recently occured in Japan. Phone services came to a halt, preventing victims from contacting their loved ones. Services such as Facebook, Twitter, Mixi (The largest social networking in Japan) proved more reliable than phone service, becoming a lifeline for people looking to find lost loved ones, tell others they were safe, or send encouraging words. Google also set up a person finder app. Many people also used social media to spread the news of the events. Thousands of videos were uploaded to YouTube showing the events unfolding in Japan, even  while the quaking was going on.

Here are two such videos, that document these events:

This isn’t the first time social networking has proved important to a natural disaster zone. Twitter and Facebook helped communicate critical information in the Haiti and Chile earthquakes. Social media is now an integral part of our lives, because of its multi-platform ubiquitous nature. It is increasing becoming the medium we turn to for communication and news, taking precedence over  traditional technologies like phones and televisions.

Featured photo by Lost in Japan. Perdido en Japón

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About the Author

Iddan Brown is the Communications Technology Student Liason.