You’ve seen the snarky signs in coffee shops, “We don’t have wi-fi. Pretend its 1995, put down your phones to talk to each other.” Insinuating that we are all too connected to social media time time suckers like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever your vice might be. This is a good week for social media. It has served for the good.

A

According to The Washington Post “When social media was in its infancy, Americans watched in horror as Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, marooning residents on rooftops, where they helplessly waved white sheets and held up signs for passing helicopters, often to no avail. Twelve years, several smartphone releases and billions of tweets later — as a powerful storm hovered over America’s fourth-largest metropolis — social media allowed many Houstonians to take their fate into their own hands. Using social media, flood victims who still had power were able to communicate with public officials directly or to bypass them entirely and coordinate their own rescues with private citizens.”

A

Countless rescues have been made because someone saw a plea on social media. As WaPo reported, “John Nova Lomax — a Houston resident and senior editor at Texas Monthly who has written extensively about the city’s flood problems — said he noticed a Facebook post Sunday asking for someone to rescue a woman trapped on her roof with two dogs. The victim’s address was less than a half a mile away, he said, leading him to embark on a hapless rescue effort that ended when he reached an impassable bridge several blocks from his house in northwest Houston. Despite his failed attempt, he said, social media spawned numerous successful rescue efforts over the weekend, often through Facebook groups that formed to share information and facilitate rescues.”

A

When used for the good, social media is a beautiful thing. A Guardian Angel. When used to empower hate and racism, its The Devil. This week, let’s hope the angels keep winning.

A