911! Who are you going to call or tweet?

Social media has become a mainstay in almost every person’s life and most of us probably only use it for what it was designed for as a way to interact with our friends, post updates about our lives and share pictures. But there is another really important use of social media that can actually save a person’s life that we don’t even really think about.

image by Pexels

Social Media Emergency Communication Plan

In my place of employment we practice emergency drills that involve the use of social media to relay communication. We have a monitored response network that we can text to relay if we are injured, safe or need assistance. We have an emergency communications team that monitors all our social media sites so that in the case of a real emergency they can relay information and receive information about dangers. This is all part of our Emergency Communications plan and it’s what I think more communities and organizations should implement.

More and more emergency services are using social media or otherwise called “Crisis Informatics” to share information which helps them respond to emergencies that they may not have otherwise known about. Social media has become an invaluable tool that has helped in many emergencies or disasters because it has a larger reach than traditional methods and can in some instances work faster in getting information out. In fact, in 2013, Terrorist attacks at the Boston marathon were first posted on Twitter before news sources and emergency personal were notified.

Social media channel communication (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) is sometimes the only telecommunications medium that survives, and the first to recover as seen in disasters that struck the world in recent years, according to a review study of emergency situations by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers in the International Journal of Information Management.

Why does social media work for emergencies? Because half the population has some form of social media that they can relay messages, images and content on. In the past, emergency warnings only had a few channels to alert people of dangers, now people can actively search different sources to find information and can participate in conversations in cases of emergencies. Social media works because people’s nature in emergency situations is to “Ask what’s going on”. With access to networks like Twitter and Facebook, people can post the questions and images of emergency situations and get real life information. Emergency services can then monitor social media networks and in most case they have their own social media accounts that they post things like traffic accidents or emergency information.

Do you think social media is a good tool for emergency situations?

References

Social media is transforming emergency communications

Social media before, during and after emergencies

Social Media in Disasters

911! #socialmediaemergency

911! Social media can save your life!

The past can come back to haunt you! Beware of what you post

I think we have all committed a social media blunder where we have sent a text, email or posted something on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube that we wish we could go back and hit an erase button. But how much of an impact on your life can those mistakes have?

You only have to do a google search or follow the news feeds to find the many stories surfacing of how posting something offensive, insensitive or untrue can come back to bite you in the butt!

Lourde Twitter feed

Maker of Busch Light cuts ties with Iowa State fan over old offensive social media posts.
A then 16yr old Carson King posted comments on his social media page only to have those comments surface 8yrs later. He publicly apologized on his page and to the media for what he posted but his relationship with Anheuser-Busch was destroyed. As a result of his relationship with Anheuser-Busch, they also issued a statement that his posts have nothing to do with their values or brand and furthered that by making a contribution to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

I have no idea if what he posted was offensive or if it was just some stupid comment that he made to get attention but I bet he is wishing that his 16yr old self had better judgment to not make those posts public.

Do you need to apologize for something you said or did as a young adult or can you just say you “didn’t know any better”?

Another story has a professional rugby play Israel Folau being fired for his personal opinion being shared on his social media platforms. The Rugby association has commented that his opinions breached the sports code of conduct, but Israel has refused to back down on what he says are his religious beliefs.

Blog 2 – Is texting hazardous.. to your health?

YouTube video posted by Linda
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O51f1BZKPoo

We’ve all seen it, someone is walking along with their head down and fingers frantically typing on their smart device when BAM, they have walked into someone or something.

Sounds funny doesn’t it? But this is just one of the health hazards of texting and as society becomes more joined at the hip to their phones you can see more of these health issues becoming noticeable and worrisome.

Texting can have detrimental effects on a person’s life from little aches and pains to death. Below is a list of some of the hazards associated with texting.

  • Neck Pain – Doctors have coined it “Text Neck”, the act of leaning forward with your neck down. The constant pressure of your shoulders and neck carrying the weight of your head in the same position for an extended period of time causes tightening and stress on your muscles and joints which can lead to headaches and bad posture.
  • Finger and Joint issues – The repetitive scrunching of your fingers as you type on small keyboards can lead to arthritis and inflammation of tendons in some people or at the very least achy fingers.
  • Headaches – The constant squinting at your phone or from texting in low light conditions leads to dry eyes and headaches.
  • Social Anxiety – The more that young adults and children rely on texting as a means of communication, the less they are able to develop the necessary social skills to communicate face to face.
  • Depression – With texting being the main form of communication, it can lead to misinterpretation of your message. Your tone can be read incorrectly leading to anxiety that what you said wasn’t received correctly. With youths, personal image and popularity are important and this misinterpretation can lead to stress and depression.
  • Distraction – One of the most serious health issues of texting is in my opinion distraction. Distraction can range from texting in class and you miss something important to distracted driving which has severe consequences. Reports have shown that texting and driving resulted in 27% of accidents, and that people who text and drive are more likely to have a car crash than non-distracted drivers.

So what can we do to mitigate these “TEXTING” hazards? Put the phone down and join the real world, have face to face conversations and live in the moment. Nothing is more important than your health and you have the control to make changes.

Has texting had an impact on how you communicate?

Cartoon by Izzy Peterson

Is texting hazardous to your health and why?

http://bit.ly/2mwQTM0

Is texting killing us #texthealthhazard

http://bit.ly/2mwQTM0


References:

https://itstillworks.com/texting-its-dangers-consequences-3907.htmlhttps://www.safewise.com/faq/auto-safety/danger-texting-driving/

https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/health/5-ways-texting-is-bad-for-your-health/

Facebook – Is there a connection?

When Facebook first came out everyone was so excited to be a part of it, people were adding friends from out of the closet and building up their friends list. It didn’t matter that you hadn’t seen Suzy since grade school or that the co-worker you added from your building wasn’t really someone that you hang out with. It was all about making sure your friends list was big so everyone else would know that you mattered.

But are these relationships real or superficial and do they matter? Do we really care that Brian from our yoga class ate tofu for the first time or that Sandy from high school just broke up with her boyfriend? Do all these people on our friends list elevate our standing in the social media world or clutter up the important things? Do we miss out on what our real-life friends and families post because we have the rantings of people that don’t even know us taking up valuable space?

While some of these friends can enrich our lives with their news and stories, I feel like we spend too much time with our heads on a device reading the stories of people that don’t have an impact on our day to day lives instead of really hearing and seeing what the people around us have to say.

So, to this I have said no more friends unless it’s meaningful to my life. Are you someone that I can hang out with in real life, do we have a bond together, and do you have something important to say instead of “I went to the Dentist today!”

I have learned that friendship isn’t about who you have known the longest, it’s about who came and never left your side.

Yolanda Hadid

Check out these blogs:

Facebook, Can you have too many friends and why do you need them?

http://tiny.cc/9v3ycz

Facebook, too many friends! #realfriends#toomany

http://tiny.cc/9v3yc