Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Not even a tornado takes out Facebook

On Sunday night a massive tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri. Shattering windows, strewing cars, trucks and even a helicopter like toys, and tossing precious people about like rag dolls. The violent winds took out anything in it's path, with no regard to loss of property or life. In the aftermath I thought I'd just text my sister to make sure she was ok, and she replied her and Molly were fine but the devastation she was seeing was completely unbelievable. We texted back and forth because in town they weren't getting much info and I was seeing and hearing more from the television than she knew.

Texting seemed to work from their phones but calling in or out was sparse at best. What was amazing to me was watching Molly's Facebook wall and people from all over were inquiring about loved ones and family and damage reports. She would relay back via her page what she was finding out and putting relatives of the residents that were far away at ease. One instance was one of her friends, away in Ireland, wanting to inquire about her family. Molly went and checked and responded to the girl in quick fashion and the angst about the situation, although not totally relieved, was definitely minimized.

Many people still do not see the value of the social networking system, and I watched as the tweets came, Facebook wall posts increased, new pages went up to assist people trying to help and find loved ones, I watched as young and old alike used these tools to ease each others concerns and most of all I watched as the human spirit, put aside the surface use of this technology to dig deep and make it meaningful.

Although we may not be able to physically go and help in the aftermath of this tragedy, the information being disseminated can at least us feel compassion and empathy for those involved. The stories coming across the pages cut deep and hopefully cause us to take the time and examine our own lives and make the most of every moment, because no one is guaranteed tomorrow, not our property, not our plans, not even the breath we take, because like the people of Joplin, everything could change within that same moment.

Some of the Facebook pages set up for the people of Joplin:

Some of the pictures of the aftermath taken by Tee Larmore

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