Everything in this world is actually has its own strength and weakness which bring us new opportunity or threat from its existence. So, does Social media. When it comes to disaster context, social media give us the speed and easiness to spread the news and awareness, because of its ability to share and connect among a network of friends. This function has become important tool to share the timely and accurate information about the disaster to global citizen, and the world become ready to deliver any help needed. Through social media, the information spreading, being discussed, and shaping the knowledge of Citizen. I testified this optimistic behavior on Merapi Eruption Disaster in Indonesia. I saw people together online assist each other to deliver aids for the victims right away after they read the list needs of disaster victim through the volunteer’s twitter. In the Fukushima accident, I, myself, read some report from medical doctor colleagues who study in Japan and sent to help Fukushima victims. We did not know how to help at that time, but surely, we share our condolences with Japan.
As the benefits come, there are also some threats come from the use social media in disaster context. Because of their different expertise and level of knowledge, people has different ability to process information and respond it through by social media. So, if the news were not deliver clearly, it can give another negative effect such as social confusion, panic and social anxiety. This is the time where the risk communication should be delivered smoothly by the government or any parties involved, including the health team.
After Fukushima NPP meltdown, the fear of radiation exposure was spreading by the news, social media, and aggravated by fraud and scam news. This psychosocial effect was important to be concerned. But in the positive way, I think this phenomenon also shows how people become concern about radiation-related cancer risk. In other words, people in Japan and beyond become ready to dig a deeper knowledge about risk and benefit of nuclear technology.