Social media has truly changed the way we communicate, hasn’t it?
I first signed up for Twitter in May 2009, but never really got a good reason to use it… Until the earthquake in Japan happened. I remember I was in my sister’s house when I decided to check if there’s any conversation going on about the earthquake. Of course, there were tons. I was exposed to thousands of updates, images, live videos. I’ve never found myself as engaged in a disaster before. I always watched them on TV, but this was the first time it touched me deeply.
I couldn’t sleep that night, which is another rare thing. I kept thinking to myself, how should I help them? How could I sleep when many were suffering?
Years have passed and I still depend heavily on social media for upates, not just for disasters but also for getting inspirations, ideas, and expanding my network. However, I was reminded of how quick tweets travel these days.
I wasn’t home when the grounds shook. My mom called about an hour later and asked if everything was alright. I had no idea what happened. She said she heard from her friend that there was just an earthquake near British Columbia. I didn’t pay much attention to her, thought she probably got the wrong information. But a few minutes later, I got a few more tweets from the people I friended with in Indonesia, asking if I’m alright.
It was quite interesting to me that I only found out about the earthquake from people that are miles away from me. When I checked my Twitter, I found out that many didn’t feel it too. I guess that’s the thing about media. Sometimes the media makes a matter bigger than it actually is. Sometimes it is not enough.
Right now I’m looking through all the tweets, pictures, info, and news about Hurricane Sandy and I don’t feel I know enough. I want to feel how strong the wind is. How high the flood is. I want to know if Laura is okay. I want to know when the Hurricane will be over. Both in New York and in my head.