I like to talk about people. I worry that too many social media folks talk about tools and technology, but I like people. That’s me, not a nerd.
So let’s talk about people. People and their new toy: social media.
Now, what about emergencies?
Do people use social media in disasters, or is it just for taking pictures of their lunch?
The American Red Cross does an annual survey on social media use in disasters. And they’ve found that more and more, people are depending on social media in disaster situations more and more.
One only has to see images like this, from Hurricane Sandy.
Poorly composed, terribly lit, completely without context or expertise.
But they will give us more information as emergency responders than we ever could’ve hoped for.
Now, social media use in disasters brings up something we really need to be concerned about, OpSec. Funny word, not really a word.
So what the heck is OpSec? It’s a term taken from the military. Are there any former military folks here? First of all, thank you for your service. What does OpSec mean to you? (If none, or wrong, explain operational security and how not divulging information made for the public can harm operations.)
One of the more recent examples of where social media and OpSec have collided is in Boston, during the manhunt for the bombers. Boston Police posted this on that Friday when all of Boston was locked down. I’m sure we can all imagine how posting images of police rolling up to a house could compromise their safety.
But what about in the lab? Do we have OpSec issues in the lab?
Imagine your lab has received a presumptive positive, a BioWatch filter that alarmed, for example.
Are you sure that everyone in your lab is as prudent with information dissemination as you hope they are? I mean, who knows what they’re Instagramming?
So what can we do about this? Lots of bosses and executives will tell you we should just ban it, get rid of it. No social media. But remember that sex stat. Social media is IMPORTANT. And people will do it no matter what they’re doing, working, or y’know, other things.
Is there a better way? A way that can bring us together in positivity?
There absolutely is! It’s all about creating a social media policy that takes into account the fact that people use social media and give them support and tools to be successful ambassadors for labs around the world
Thank you so much for your time today. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.
Preparing for Social Media in Disasters
Preparing for SocialMedia in DisastersJames GarrowPhiladelphia Department of Public Health
More than 80% of Americans areon the internetThe only groups with a less than60% penetration rate have nohigh school diploma and thoseover 65
67% of Americans on theinternet are on social mediaThe only groups with a lessthan 60% penetration rate arethose over 50, but that’s alsothe fastest growing group
Between six and eleven percent ofAmericans would interrupt sex tocheck social media messages!
12% of the American public hasused social media in adisasterNearly 40% would use socialmedia to let loved ones knowthey were safe after a disaster