11/13/15

Photo from Creative Commons Flickr

Photo from Creative Commons Flickr

With the recent tragedies that have occurred worldwide in just 24 hours, I thought I would use this post to address these current events, rather than my original topic planned. On November 13, 2015, there was an earthquake in Japan and Mexico, suicide bombings in Beirut killing over 40 people and injuring over 200, suicide bombings in Baghdad resulting in 18 deaths and over 40 wounded, and 129 killed along with 352 injured in three different ISIS attacks on Paris. Whether a natural disaster or tragedy caused by man, this Friday the 13th was a day filled with heartbreak that the world will have a hard time forgetting.

But with tragedy comes the ability to rebuild and grow, not only within individual nations, but worldwide. Even though yesterday was filled with devastation it was also filled with a lot of hope. As each event began to compile within the news feeds of social media sites worldwide, it began to show the true power of our world coming together over social media.

There has been a lot of discussion lately on the internet about social media being harmful and “fake,” as stirred up by a teen from Australia who slammed Instagram for portraying a fake version of reality (view article here). While there might be many elements of social media that come off unrealistic, there is something extremely raw and real about the social media community when it comes to times of tragedy and mourning.

As events and updates unfolded, social media sites were flooded with hashtags of support including #prayforMexico, #prayforJapan, #prayforBeirut, #prayforBaghdad, and #prayforParis. Under these hashtags people online all over the world could share with each other pictures of support, words of encouragement and support for an endless amount of strangers. Countries throughout the world showed support for the attacks on Paris by projecting the colors of the Flag of Paris on major buildings and landmarks. Pictures were shared across multiple social media platforms, uniting our world as one in support of one another. Facebook created an option for user’s  in which they could could put a filter of the Flag of Paris over their profile picture to show their support. Victims of the attacks were able to take to social media and share their side of the story with the world and speak words of encouragement about the heroes who didn’t survive. While the events that took place yesterday are tragic, they remind us of how our world can come together in a time of mourning.

For this, I think we owe gratitude to social networking for allowing us to connect with one another. It’s a truly remarkable thing to be able to support complete strangers from across the world. With all the darkness in the world comes a lot of hope. I encourage my readers to take to their social media site and spread the support.

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