In today’s world, it’s just about every three months on average another unfortunate tragedy strikes and rocks our society. Or maybe these tragedies have already been occurring everyday for last 20 years. Who’s to say? But what is for certain is the lasting effect it can throughout social media. There are many out following these events who want to help the cause, but feel their voice is not loud enough in their everyday interpersonal communications. Social media provides a platform for these individuals to voice their concerns and find ways to take action. Unfortunately, death is what is usually found at the base. Celebrity deaths or disasters are mainly when they occur.
When a legend dies, it’s only then that we remember them. For whatever reason, we seem to want to compensate for the lost respect we had for them in the form of glorifying their life accomplishments. Now that’s not to say we should not celebrate one’s life, but it seems to me it tends to be over done. But take Prince for example. The lasting effect he had in the music community and throughout the world is unquestionable. When he left us, it rocked our world. Celebrities, fans, and endless admirers flooded timelines with remembrance posts. Social media analytics company SocialFlow tracked keywords associated with him and found this bit of information. Over 20 million tweets were found related to Prince.
Not only that, but since he’s passed, he has FOUR albums in the top ten of the Billboard 200 charts right now! Forgive me for my ignorance, but I do not recall any monumental record from Prince recently. It’s a shame because it is only NOW that these records have peaked to these positions on the charts. Everyone wants to share their condolences, but sometimes it’s just better if you mourn from afar. When it was announced Prince was dead, a number of companies took to social media to pay tribute also. Unfortunately, this only looks like a cheap method of promotion in a time of sensitivity.
Take this Maker’s Mark tweet for instance. At the time it appears like a nice tribute to the revered artist, yes. But if you look, they make no mention of his name or any public acknowledgement at all of the death. This all seems like it’s to benefit the company. Too make matters worse, it was later stated the company had actually already used the picture to promote their purple wax dip caps. The company Twitter account told one user to “Keep an eye out”. So that may or may not set a passionate fan overboard, especially on social media. But maybe that’s just me.
Social media also has become a safe haven after disastrous tragedies. During the tragedy in Paris which included the terrorist attacks across the city, alot of individuals’ lives were placed in peril. Family members or friends with loved ones in that area under attack are inevitably thinking the worst. I, in fact, had a number of friends that were studying abroad in Paris. Facebook took it upon themselves to active their “Safety Check” feature which allow individuals to announce that they are well and sound. This feature was brought to light after the Nepal earthquakes as they searched for survivors.
Twitter also proved to be much beneficial for the search of loved ones. The heavy activity on the site simply due to everybody wanting to find out more information from reporting news outlets is remarkable. Once hashtags begin to trend, it opens leeway for users all across the world to search for their loved ones. Throughout all this chaos, there are those left stranded and lost with no place to turn. The #PorteOuverte hashtag meaning “Open door” was started in order to assist any Parisian who had no place to go because of these attacks and within 10 hours, over 1 million tweets including the hashtag.
Facebook didn’t share data on, but said that 78 million people have been “interacting” with posts about the attacks.