Japan – Melissa Dickinson

Posted: March 23, 2011 by melissadickinson in #9 Japan

The morning of March 11th started out like any other. I woke up, promptly turned my cell phone on, and opened up my laptop to check emails, Facebook, etc. Upon opening my Twitter homepage, I saw the numerous tweets from a girl I went to high school with. Her Mom and Dad were currently in Japan (their hometown) and she was concerned for their safety. Shortly after I refreshed the page, her latest tweet brought good news of their departure only moments before the earthquake.

I think the majority of people discovered and learned about the crisis in Japan through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. This is due to the fact that a great deal of society today is more tuned in to the ongoings, happenings and gossip of their friends, family and celebrities. In fact, I am currently watching Jay Leno and an interviewer asked an avid “spring breaker” what he thought about Gaddafi. The man assumed to be in his early 20s had no idea who he was. Goes to show that one has to have the interest, the initiative and the motivation to stay informed on the world.

I honestly think that it would be hard not to stay informed on this disaster in Japan. For days one just had to switch through the channels on the television to view the numerous stations headlining the earthquake and tsunami. People were posting prayers for Japan on their Facebook status’, Twitter fans were retweeting major news organizations their updates on the crisis, students on campus were constantly discussing how horrible the disaster was and how thankful they were to be living in Canada. That’s the thing about Journalism. It comes in many different forms like print, speech and video. It appeals to all audiences.

Everyday there are pictures posted online headlined as “The Most Unforgettable Pictures” of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I think that the use of pictures is the greatest way for audiences and people outside of Japan to fully grasp the idea of how horrible and heartbreaking this disaster truly is. Even still, unless you feel the pain of losing everything, it’s hard to relate to the people of Japan. Therefore, it’s the videos and pictures posted on news websites that I appreciate the most in gaining knowledge of this crisis.

The use of social networking sites allows audiences to understand the impact this disaster has had on society inside and outside of Japan. We get to experience and witness the heartache of Facebook and Twitter users in the middle of this disaster. Using the word experience is not really appropriate either. As I stated earlier, we will never be able to experience the pain the people of Japan are going through unless we are physically and emotionally connected in some way. However, we are able to comprehend and witness the pain that this disaster as brought to family, friends and the people of Japan. The pictures that are posted by news organizations allow us to experience the same understanding and emotions as the Facebook status’s and Twitter updates. We see the pain and agony, and as a result are easily persuaded through pictures to do all we can to help.


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