Twitter’s powerful Gift in a Time of Need
2017 has been the year of many tragic events, events that have left millions of Americans heartbroken, scared, and hopeless. In the last couple of months North America has experienced four hurricanes; Hurricane Harvey in Texas on August 25th, Hurricane Irma in South Florida on September 10th, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico on September 20th, and Hurricane Nate in louisiana and Mississippi on October 7th. In addition to the tragic natural disasters, Las Vegas, Nevada has experienced one of America’s worst mass shootings in history, a shooting that lasted ten minutes and left 58 people dead and 489 injured on October 1st, 2017. When a country experiences a series of tragic events like such, people come together for support and prayers for all of those affected by the events. Twitter has been a main, reliable, and helpful source in tragic times like these. A source where citizens can reach out to one another during hard times for things such as help, support, and information. Twitter is a very good and reliable source when events like these occur, because Twitter is a site where you can share information, updates, and share the ways other citizens can invest their time in helping those in need during these times. Twitter is so helpful and reliable that even news stations and emergency responders resort to Twitter for announcements. Twitter has a positive impact on our country in times of need.
Many people would look at Twitter as a social media website where people just “tweet their problems and share memes or rumors,” while that may be true, Twitter is also a source to share important, reliable information on updates and warnings. As for people during the hurricanes that lived on the coast or high warning areas, Twitter was a helpful source where you can check updates in a short and fast manner. According to Douglas MacMillan’s article, “In Irma, Emergency Responders’ New Tools: Twitter and Facebook” on The Wall Street Journal. MacMillan states that the government officials and first responders who were working together on helping the residents affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida survive, resorted to posting updates on Twitter and Facebook, as well as the usual News channels on Television. The first responders’ act of reporting to social media helped more people get to safety and follow precautions, due to the fact that some residents did not have access television or just logging into Twitter was more convenient. MacMillan also explains how many weather forecast services and News Channels helped further spread first responders information, by posting not only on television, but their Twitter pages as well. In addition to Twitter hosting many updates and information for services, Twitter also has helped save people’s lives. Many people and companies are apart of the Twitter community; businesses, and emergency responders are on Twitter to help connect with people on the outside community by using this inside community of Twitter. Twitter helps save lives because In MacMillan’s article, he states how some victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas were able to tweet that they needed help and couldn’t reach anyone. Thus leading to the fact that Emergency responders such as the national guard, and the police department taking part in being on Twitter helped save those who were stuck or in need during Hurricane Harvey; The use of Twitter and it’s community, is what helped emergency responders reach the people in need. That is the power of Twitter, it is quick and easy. Many people can retweet an update or warning to share with to continue spreading a message. When America needs to be a community in hard times like natural disasters, Twitter is a good home for people to communicate and help. The author of this article supports how using social media such as Twitter is a beneficial tool in our society. Twitter had the power to help not only people, but animals as well; for I personally have seen humane societies reach out on social media to reconnect pets with owners and find strays dramatically affected by the disaster find forever homes even out of state. Many humane societies around the country has fostered pets in need. This is not the only time Twitter will be helpful, Twitter will continue to be helpful in the future when instances like these happen again; which is why being in the Twitter community can be more beneficial in a time of need when you least expect it.
Not only was the use of Twitter beneficial in hard times during the hurricanes, Twitter also brought America together during the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October, 1st. In the article, “Las Vegas Absorbed America” on U.S News, by Michael D. Cohen, Cohen touches on how Twitter’s constant discussion quickly shifts from hurricanes to the devastation of Las Vegas’s mass shooting; thus showing how the community of Twitter comes together in harsh times showing America’s soft side. Besides the arguments of gun control brought up by the incident, many prayers, and information about how one can help was shared. Cohen is expressing how strongly the Twitter community is affected by events going on in our country, and supports how news shared on Twitter can be very beneficial. NBC News shares a tweet, made by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, sharing information on Twitter on how citizens of Las Vegas can help victims of the shooting by donating blood and how you can do that. Information shared like such, where you can actually do something to help save someone’s life, has a big impact due to the fact that the Twitter community is so large. An article on Today.com shares about how lines of citizens who wanted to donate blood went out the door; in addition, United Blood Services sent nearly 200 units of blood and Red Cross donated 250 blood products. The power of Twitter and it’s blessing to be able to “retweet” a tweet in seconds has saved many people’s lives and has also helped speed up the process of spreading information and awareness. Many American citizens are thankful and alive due to the way a community, like Twitter, is able to come together in a time in need. This shows how Twitter can continue being beneficial in harsh times, Twitter literally saved people’s lives by its power of a tweet on blood donation information.
While many feel that Twitter is a beneficial community and aspect to our Country during a time of need, others feel Twitter can shoot a negative aura through the community. According to an article on businessinsider.com called, “Fake News About the Las Vegas Shooting Spread Wildly on Facebook, Google, and Twitter,” by Maxwell Tani, Tani speaks about how fake news on the Las Vegas shooting was spread quickly through Twitter and the other social media platforms. The author expresses how false advertising on the Twitter community sends bad energy to our outside community and those who were victims of the shooting. Many of the talk and rumor that could be spread through Twitter may be frustrating, but that is not making Twitter a negative aspect to our country in a time of need. There are more positive tweets than the negative when our country experiences something quite tragic. There is going to be negative statements and theories everywhere, but Twitter has done no harm offering a chance to someone who needs to reach out for help or reaches out to send help. Twitter’s power movement with a retweet over to help someone, masks one’s “false-view.”
Tragic events sadly are always going to be apart of everyone’s lives. It’s the downs in our lives, but we all still come together during tragic times as a country to look for the brighter days, the ups. Twitter is a community that many people of our society are apart of. The Twitter community is very powerful with the chances to share important information with everyone, with the chance that others will see it. During America’s harsh accouterments with our hurricanes and the shootings, our country has stayed together with the power of everyone connecting and supporting like a band-aid. Luckily our police departments, friends, family are all on Twitter, so if you need support or help in any situation you can result to reaching out on Twitter because that is what Twitter is meant for. Our News channels use Twitter to quickly shoot weather information and other information to those on the go who don’t have a television because Twitter is quick and easy. Twitter’s community is fast and beneficial during times of need.