Global Social Network

I am awed by the power of social media we have seen in the wake of the on going tragedy in Japan.

Japan is a particularly unique situation. It is by far one of the most ‘wired’ countries in the world.  All the major manufacturers debut and debug their cutting edge technology in Japan.

If this one-two punch of a disaster had happened a couple of years ago, the world wouldn’t have had such a precise understanding of the dire straits of the citizens of Japan.

Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Google and other Internet Social Media forums the word spread quickly.  Foreign nationals in Japan were able to reassure family members they were okay.  Friends could reach out and share their stories.  Agencies could find help.

We are at day four.  Power to charge the computers, cellphones, and other devices is now at a premium.  Due to the Nuclear Reactor in Sendai, which provides electricity the area, being off-line and having its own set of issues because of the earthquake AND the tsunami.  They don’t know when the power will be restored to the area (the debate about nuclear energy is its own topic).

The Japanese are a resilient people, look how they rebuilt their country after World War II.

There is an emotional toll.  The older generation of today, were the children of World War II.  Having survived that turmoil, their current circumstances must be hell.  The Japanese society is one where families live together in multi-generational households.  Strong bonds exist in the family.  With the capricious acts of nature, we now have orphaned grandparents and orphaned children.

Japan is going to have to see how resilient it is.  We, as a global community, can not forget them in their time of need as they rebuild their communities and families.



  • I was so worried when this happened. I spent a semester at 神田外語大学 and some of my friends from the exchange program were in Japan when this happened. I realize this post is well into the archives, but the tag caught my attention since I’ve been having an internal tug-of-war over whether to go back or pursue a domestic marketing career while I wait to make money off my writing.

    In some ways I’m glad that social media allowed me to stay in touch with the many families who opened their doors and their arms to me while I was there, but to hear my friends tell it from there, the world was making it into a bigger deal than it was. I think in part it depends what part of the country people were in, location changes perception of a disaster.

    • Elia, thanks for stopping by. I think that when you are at the epicenter of any event, survival is a premium and the need to normalize things is imperative. Social media has truly given us a means of global connectivity unprecedented. I’m in agreement with you that your location does affect your perception.

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