Social Media and a time of crisis

Social media, like twitter or facebook, is neither positive or negative. It isn’t good or bad, its just a tool, a facility or a feature we can use. On the traditional medias like television these mediums are collecting a bit of criticism for the comments, tweets and posts published in light of the recent tragedies we have witnessed in the US.

Its not the medium that is at fault here, rather it is the behaviours of the users that is more of a concern. We have seen the power of twitter to help facilitate the change or regimes in the Arab Spring, to break the news to the world of devastating earthquakes in China. But we have also seen it used to organize flash mobs in the London riots or recently to do the equivalent of spreading rumors in the digital medium around the unfolding nightmare that is the Boston marathon.

There has to be balance.

As a good digital citizen we are expected to:

  • respect and protect yourself – looking after yourself
  • respect and protect others – looking after others
  • respect and protect property – looking after property

Part of respecting and protecting others, is considering the impact, accuracy and significance of the material that we post. While sometimes the tweets we post can change the world in a positive way. Sometimes, the speed and ease at which we can post these comments and the potential size of the audience we can reach means we need to consider the impact, importance, significance and relationships effected by the material we post.

In a world of immediacy, and instant communication we need to stop, take a deep breath and wait. Taking a considered and deliberate pause, and then……

Resources:

Digital Citizenship – http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/The+Digital+Citizen

The Fluencies – http://fluency21.com/fluencies.html

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