The Empathetic Face of Social Media in 2015

Published: 30th December 2015 04:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2015 06:00 PM   |  A+A-

Social Media

At 12:58 PM on May 1, 2011, an IT consultant from Abottabad, Sohiab Akhtar inadvertently tweeted “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event),” first hinting the sleepy world about a covert operation that took down Osama-Bin-Laden. Years later, the same medium helped a bunch of repressed Arab countries a precipitate their anger against dictatorial regime and pull them down. It has forever redefined the meaning of “real-time news” in reportage across the globe. Yes, we are talking about Social Media, the newest form of media that is here to stay.

Many incidents in 2015 have repeatedly proven the efficiency of Social Media in crowd sourcing help and circulating life-saving information at times of crisis.



A Hashtag for City Grievances, Rain Alerts for Tweeple

When Social Media, Kind Hearts Helped Woman Deliver Twins at Home 

What's recent is the incredibly different number of ways in which Social Media has aided the relief and rescue operations during the #Chennaiflood. During what was termed as the worst rains of the century, netizens actively took to Social Media sites like Twitter and Facebook to spread emergency helpline numbers, locate their near and dear ones and even share details about places that are safe and those that remain inundated. In a heart-warming way, Social Media also came to the rescue of a pregnant woman in Ramapuram who experienced labour pains two days ahead of her due date.

Stories of resilience and kindness were the 'talk of the tweeple' as posts about extra-ordinary Chennaiites who went out of their way to help was retweeted multiple times. Like this story about a milk woman whose devotion to duty despite the record breaking rains was praise-worthy.

Who is poor:This boy demonstrated something that i will need another life time to witness again. There was this dilemma...

Posted by Srikanth Karthikeyan on Friday, December 4, 2015

A few volunteer groups put Social media to best use when the city’s mobile networks were blackened out for nearly three days. Using hashtags like #chennairainshelp and #chennaimicro, they circulated tweets about free and safe accommodation, food supply packets, safest routes in the city etc...

    >>Related: Meet the Heroes of Chennai Floods

The #Chennaifloods was also one of the most googled terms of the year at 26 million times which is more than that of searches related to Europe's migrant crisis and water on Mars.

   >>Related: 26 Million Times: Chennai Floods Highest Googled Item





Over a million refugees have arrived in Europe this year by land and sea after having fled war and persecution. Many died en route while making the dangerous journey in flimsy rubber boats and refrigerator trucks. But somehow, it took this gut-wrenching picture for the entire world to take #RefugeeCrisis seriously.