Researchinvestigating the use of social media during the natural disasters is an transpiring area of study, and one that hasattracted attention from an array of discipline within recent years such as emergencymanagement, crisis information management and social medias. Within this area,it is recognized that greater research attention has been afforded to the useof social media in disaster or crisis context by emergency services staff, medical,military personnel and various other professionals. Acknowledging the shortcomingand lack in research attention, this study is mainly to analyze the practicaluse of social media during natural disaster events through exploration of anappearing idea within the information research field.Accordingto the Smart Insight statistics in January 2017, Facebook is viewed as one ofthe most popular social network with over 1870 million active users around theglobe as It holds 18% market share, 7% more so than its closest competitor, theFacebook – owned, Whatsapp.
(Chaffey,D.(2017,April 27).Global Social Media Research Summary2017.Retrieved from https://www.smartinsights.
com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/).Apartfrom Facebook, other competitors such as Twitters, Wechat, Telegram and Instagramare stepping up their game in order toengage with the societies . This review mainly focus and examines the publicregarding the usage of social media during natural disasters occurs. Broadlysocial media is used in mainly four ways during a natural disasters.
Firstly,it is used as a medium in sharing and disseminating information of the current state of conditionduring the phenomena of disaster occurs. It monitors and provide insights tothe whole situation so that the victims and also the external communities canactually have a closer approach to the situation . Valuable information can bedelivered to those who are in the disaster area and might use the chance toescape from the catastrophe. Neighbors and communities can share criticalinformation between each other such as road blockage, power shutdown, fires,accidents and any other related damages. Besides that, Twitter RTs and Newscoverage can be one of the features in social media where the 24 hour newscycle can work to everyone’s advantage in anemergency.
(Thompson,K.(2017,October 5).The Role Of Social Media In A NaturalDisaster And Emergencies.Retrieved fromhttps://collectivebias.com/blog/2017/10/social-media-natural-disaster/).
As anevidence the reporters in Mexico City began utilizing the #MexicoCity hashtagsto cover what was happening after the 7.1 – magnitude earthquake struck onSeptember 19, 2017. .(Thompson,K.(2017,October 5).The Role Of Social Media In ANatural Disaster And Emergencies.Retrieved from https://collectivebias.com/blog/2017/10/social-media-natural-disaster/).
Secondly, social media also could encourage family and friends communicationduring a disaster which is to connect with family members within affectedcommunities for situation updates and planning responses. The utilization ofsocial media to find and contact family are swiftly increasing among thevictims of natural disaster incidents like during the earthquake in Sendai,Japan or the tornadoes in Joplin. (Embracing Social Media During NaturalDisasters.Retrieved fromhttp://www.disaster-resource.com/index.php?option=com_content=article=1501=12#).
Accordingto a recent from Sachs/MasonDixon poll, 72% from the population of americansbelong to the social network including Facebook, Twitter and Myspace which 45%of them will depend on these platforms to communicate with friends and familyduring a natural disaster.(Kaye, K.(2011,June 22).Polls Many Turn ToTwitter,Facebook During Hurricanes,Disasters.
Furthermore,features in social media like Facebook “I’m Safe” check in and Google “PersonFinder” will be a perfect medium to finddisplaced person or to inform the others that one is safe from danger. After a7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckbergimplemented the “Safety Check” feature that allows the users to mark themselvessafe in regions affected by natural disasters. Besides that, Google also hasimplemented the “Person Finder” tool that enables users to text the name ofsomeone to a number, depending on their location which only requires SMS, notan internet connection. (Thompson,K.(2017,October 5).
The Role Of Social MediaIn A Natural Disaster And Emergencies.Retrieved fromhttps://collectivebias.com/blog/2017/10/social-media-natural-disaster/). Notonly that, several studies have similary explored that by using social mediaduring natural disaster will ease the victims in paying attention to governmentand private agencies’ social media posts. Many state and local organizationsare aggressively using their social media profiles to communicate quickly aboutdisasters.
Hurricane Irene evacuation which was spreading quickly throughTwitter will be a good example of how social media networks helps ongovernments issues warnings and updates.(Tips on Using Social Media During aNatural Disaster.(2011,August 25).Retrieved fromhttp://www.newswise.
com/articles/tips-on-using-social-media-during-a-natural-disaster).Hurricane Irene was a large and destructive tropical cyclone which broughtsignificantly wind damage to several regions including East Coast of UnitedStates and Caribbean during late August 2011.Furthermore,victims of natural disaster could request for assistance by using social media.Researchers studying the use of “Twitter” during the March 2011 Japaneseearthquake and tsunami found that individuals with Twitter accounts “tweeted”for assistance when they could not use a phone.(Velev,D & Zlateva,P.(2015).
Use of Social Media in Natural Disaster Management. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271585520_Use_of_Social_Media_in_Natural_Disaster_Management).Request for support in this manner are likely to become more common.
Accordingto the study commission by the American Red Cross, the younger generation generallyuse social media more frequently than older segments of society.(Social Mediain Disasters And Disasters.(2010).
Retrieved from https://www.nisconsortium.org/portal/resources/bin/Social_Media_and_Dis_1423591240.
pdf).They are also more likely to request help through social media, believe thattheir posts could be spoted by the particular agencies, and having highexpectation that agencies will respond quickly to their request. In addition,some research states that the use of social media by older adults has doubledsince 2009.(Madden,M.(2010).Older Adults And Social Media.
Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media/Files/Reports/2010/Pew%20Internet%20-%20Older%20Adults%20and%20Social%20Media.pdf).
Due to the positive result of social media technology in assisting the public’sneeds, more adults begin to use this means as it is more responsive and quickcompare to conventional mediums.