Everyone on the planet is now aware of the destructive storm that pummelled the Eastern Seaboard this past week. Our hearts go out to all those who were affected by the devastation and it is our hope that you keep the strength to overcome. For all of us who were blessedly unaffected (at least physically), we watched in shock and dismay as the events unfolded before us on our television screens and our computer monitors. But, again, for those affected, televisions were a luxury to which most did not have access. For some, the only method of communication was an iPhone or an iPad or a laptop, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. For some, social media became lifelines through which they were able to connect with family and friends, find out what was going on outside of their immediate areas and, generally, just feel that they were still connected. That is the power of social media and when harnessing that power with respect to posting, we must always keep in mind a sense of conscientiousness and responsibility.
The takeaway that I got from reading posts was how thoroughly social media have penetrated our day to day. A group of homeowners on Long Beach Island communicated through Twitter (@lbirecovery @LBIrecovery ) and Tumblr ( lbirecovery.tumblr.com http://lbirecovery.tumblr.com/ ) . Long Beach Island or LBI is one of the barrier Islands between Atlantic City, where the hurricane came inland, and New York City. They shared photos and stories as the water rose, warnings and weather reports, anecdotes and personal incidents. Having been a guest on that island numerous times, I watched with horror and hope as events unfolded, thankful for that connection to people and places I know and love.
I cannot imagine the world of the past, where I would worry, day after day, with only the general news and no specifics to go on. Finding out that my loved ones were safe, their property sustained damage but was not obliterated; these were things to celebrate in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the wave of Social Media. Thank you social media!