Saturday, June 23, 2012

911 through Social Networks

The first disclaimer we all read when we run through the home page of Skype or similar kind of applications is that we can't assume this to be a communication tool we can depend on in the case of emergency. Still I would like to propose a strong case for use of Social Networks in the case of emergencies of any kind.

While checking out my timeline yesterday I found a couple of interesting tweets. Now if you notice this caring and helpless father on a traveling train is asking for help by using 140 Character twitter as his 911 distress call. I would like to bow to the ingenious of this person and immense faith he has got on his tweeple (Digital synonym of People) If you check the tweet it has received 23 retweets !!! Assuming that every user has minimum 50 followers, in the first chain of distribution the message must have spread to at least  1150 people in a flash and if these 1150 chose to retweet in such case you can just imagine the number this whirlwind can reach up to.

Today we are living in the world of Social Networks and people are using the potential of these various social networks to connect, communicate content, messages, stories, news, business ideas, products and services and what not. After reading through the intelligent usage of Twitter something crossed my mind last night. Cant we use Twitter, Facebook and such other Social Networks to sent out distress signal ?

Many of us use Smart Phones and I believe those who use these Social Networks as a power user definitely post their updates from their respective smartphones let it be Apple IPhone, BB, Samsung Galaxy SII or score of other such gadgets capable of connecting to the internet through WiFi, GPRS, 3G networks.

Most importantly whenever we get into trouble or someone else gets into trouble in our presence we have easy access to the smartphones we are carrying with us.

Smartphones at least the premium ones have good quality cameras so that you can take a snap and post the same in your update, message or tweet to give more accurate details of the situation to the rescue authorities besides these smart phones are also equipped with GPS and therefore communicating the exact location becomes very easy.

Twitter or Facebook is the most smart way to spread the message and get instant reply/suggestions without clogging the communication channel. Many people can respond to you by giving their valuable suggestions and the victim can easily conquer the fear of being alone and helpless.

Now what we need to do is
  • Lets create a #SOS to tweet or post an update on Facebook in the case of emergencies.

  • We need to maintain sanctity of this hash tag and not use this to make fun or to raise false alarms (If you notice May Day has got a similar kind of sanctity in Aviation and no one makes mockery of this)

  • Those who are in danger or find someone in danger can tweet #SOS with brief information about the emergency. Irrespective of the person is known or your follower or you are following him everyone on twitter must retweet the message as a blast. People on Facebook can share the post with their friends.

  • The person who is tweeting must tag his/her GPS location and picture of the scenario if relevant so that the rescue authorities can be alerted of the kind of and gravity of emergency.

  • All the rescue agencies such as Police Control room, Fire Brigade, Major Hospitals should create tweeter handle or Facebook page so that they can be instantly tweeted, tagged in this communication and respond immediately.
Guys we spend hours on these Social Networks chatting about everything lets use this to save some precious lives. Give me your comments and action plan to do this with me.

I am waiting .........

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