First we thought the Internet is a vast land of bytes, but now it seems, it is actually a galaxy with planets orbiting around.
Take Twitter for example, it goes whole circle in its many uses and lends its versatility to its user. We have already gone over the awesomeness in being able to speak to our favorite brands and skip customer care lines. But did you know it could also save your life or crash your economy?
First and foremost, there is disaster management. Being a Mumbaite, every time there is an issue that cripples the city, be it a god-forbidden terrorist attack or more-than-normal flooding during the monsoons, I turn to twitter and look for a #carpoolmumbai hashtag. If you are stuck during an emergency, use a hashtag. The last monsoon, one fine day, I heard of a friend stuck after-work on a heavy rain day. She only had to send out one tweet, “I am in Santacruz, I need to get to Andheri W, help #floodsmumbai”
In less than two mins she had a host of people offering her rides including 107 Rainbow Fm whose RJ asked me to come over to their Santacruz Office. Because Twitter is a little more complicated than the usual social networks in their usage, the chances of creepy men offering you other kinds of rides are less, I assure you….we have come a long way from Orkut, thankfully. Hashtags like #carpoolmumbai and #mumbaipoliceupdates help save the day!
SAY NO TO PAPER
And there is the biggest debate in the digital world currently…Breaking the News of Twitter. Because of its Real Time effectiveness, I have given up on any other news source these days besides the ones in 140 characters. But the flipsides are many to the same.
On 24th April 2013, The Associate Press account was hacked and a tweet was sent out
The Syrian Electronic Army even took credit for the incident, announcing their ties via Twitter, along with the hashtag #ByeByeObama!
A press briefing was underway at the White House while the tweet was sent. The Press Secretary had to announce that everything is fine on site. However, the Dow dropped drastically following the news and then recovered.
That’s the impact. It’s everywhere…on journalism, on the stock market vis-à-vis the economy and on our lives….have you taken this digital planet seriously yet?