Now-a-days you tend to find out about something on social media first and the details will appear later on the news. This happens with all sorts of situations, celebrity gossip, election results, and even in disaster situations. More often than not in a crucial situation; that can affect many people social media is a common and important resource used to keep people informed and safe. An example of this is back in October of this year’s school year. There was a shooting threat made against the university (on a social media form, go figure.) One would expect to be notified about the situation through an e-mail sent from the school, but I wasn’t. I had first found out about it through Facebook and Twitter posts, it wasn’t until a couple hours later that the school had sent out a formal e-mail explaining the situation. So in this disaster situation the social media had us informed way before any authorities did. While it may not have been 100% accurate or trustworthy I felt better that I was in the know of it even it was perhaps just a hoax. I felt safe having being informed through those platforms. In this disaster situation it was used to inform people in a way that could get out faster and probably more efficiently.
The future of these types of medias in these types of situations is bright, and is coming fast. In some places it is already here. Many local police stations already have their own twitter page or Facebook page where they post notices and warnings, it seems to be very effective thus far.
The advantages of communicating like this is the speed and masses of people it can reach. People are constantly glued to their phones, and not so much their T.V’s. So it can also be seen as more efficient. Some disadvantages are that with online news comes misinterpretation. The concern would need to be that there is no mistakes, and that everything is a simple and clear as can be. While there is always concern for new innovative ideas, if it makes things more efficient in the long run and can protect others faster and perhaps better then I’m all for it, and others should be as well.