With the recent bushfires in Australia, the worst in the nation’s history, social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr has kept people informed and in touch. According to an article from the Australian newspaper, The Age, “Mainstream news outlets, battling to provide comprehensive coverage of the tragedy, have incorporated accounts published on the social networking sites extensively in their reports.”
The people on the ground had better access to the tragedy happening around them, and mobile and web tools gave them the outlets to get this information out to the rest of the world. Even the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, used his Twitter account to talk to his 7,000 followers to provide links to emergency government assistance and ways to donate.
More and more people are tapped into these social networks, and the outpouring of content continues to grow with every major event. Tragedies feel bigger because we can put a human face on them. We read the words and we see the pictures as they happen. And acts of heroism get magnified for the same reason.