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Social Media and Emergency Communications Week 7 Essay Example

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Social Media and Emergency Communications Week 7

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Social media are platforms that allow people to make their own personal outline over the internet through different social networking sites (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Most social networking sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, allow users to include personal information on their profile. These information could include name, address, and contact numbers. This is particularly crucial in that location and contact numbers are highly significant data that can be used to track or locate individuals during emergency situations; and the huge scope of social media with its innovative scheme of processing and relaying information, could create a greater and punctual avenue for individuals who may be affected by emergency conditions like floods, fire, and other forms of disaster to be able to call for help and eventually receive timely assistance. The wide-ranging scope of social media has become an asset for both the people, the local, state, and national government, and the emergency management teams because it would be easier now for these agencies to track the extent of a disaster or any emergency; and for them to be able to provide an initial support to those who are in need. Indeed, more and more people nowadays are connected to at least one social media platform. In fact, “a survey we conducted here at the Red Cross found that almost a third of the population would use social media to let loved ones know they are safe”, says Wendy Harman (2012), Director of Social Strategy for the American Red Cross.Another important feature of social media is its accessibility. Social networking sites are now installed in most mobile technologies that provide a fresher way to communicate with others. This is remarkably innovatory in that mobile phones are more accessible than any other type of gadget. Also, it has multiple uses. It can be used to call someone, to send a text message to someone, and now, to communicate with others through social media. The convergence of social media and mobile phone technologies provided an easier way for the people to manage servicesin swapping personal or less-personal information in public domain, that is, the internet; aids in managing emergency situations; and helps emergency-blighted people to stay calm and focused, whether they are directly or indirectly affected by the emergency situation (Jilek, 2010). Furthermore, just like laptops and personal

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Boyd, D., & Ellison, N. (2007). Social network sites: definition, history, and scholarship. Journal

of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1). Retrieved from http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html

Castells, M. (2007). Communication, power and counter-power in the network society.

International Journal of Communication, 1. Retrieved from http://www.nabilechchaibi.com/resources/Castells%20-%20Communication,%20Power%20and%20Counter-Power.pdf

Harman, W. (2012, July 03). How social media is shaping disaster response. Forbes. Retrieved

from http://www.forbes.com/sites/dell/2012/03/07/how-social-media-is-shaping-disaster- response/

Hjorth, L. (2009). The big bang: an example of mobile media as new media. ACM Computers in

Entertainment, 7(2). Retrieved from http://delivery.acm.org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1145/1550000/1541899/a19-hjorth.pdf?key1=1541899&key2=8711163031&coll=DL&dl=ACM&ip=

Jilek, B. (2010). Emergency notification/communication and twitter. Information Technology

Interest Group, 17(3). Retrieved from http://infotech.cpcusociety.org/file_depot/0-10000000/0-10000/8110/folder/19725/InfoTech+Sept2010.pdf#page=3

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