A post on Beehive City, written on Friday soon after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, helps illustrate the role Facebook and Twitter (which saw 1,200 tweets a minute sent from Tokyo in the hour after the earthquake struck, according to Tweet-o-Meter) played in sharing vital information.
It seems the internet is working a lot better than the phone lines. Friends and family are already posting short messages saying that they’re fine, not to worry.
Ten years ago, we would still have been concerned. I recall that during the San Francisco earthquake of 1989, it took me two days to reach a friend out there, two days during which I was convinced that she was buried under a motorway somewhere.
Those who mock the social networking phenomenon as a new way for the world to share what it had for breakfast should take note. Twitter, Facebook, Mixi and all the others are just a way of sharing information, and in the midst of a disaster information is what we all crave.