Social media is a salvation to Japan

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This week, social media truly proved its worth.

As Japan buckled in the wake of last week’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami, mobile phone networks jammed and telephone lines were disconnected. Tragic images of the level of devastation hit global news bulletins via television helicopter cameras, webcams and CCTV.

For the Japanese people caught up in the chaos, social media has been a lifeline.

Thanks to broadband, Twitter and Facebook – along with Skype – became the easiest means to contact missing family members. On Friday alone, 246,075 tweets had been posted containing the word “earthquake”.

Social media, and Twitter in particular, continues to be a source of hope for Japan. #prayforjapan still tops the worldwide trending topics list and the celebrity Twitterati, including P Diddy and Lady Gaga, have encouraged their millions of followers to donate to the Red Cross’ disaster relief fund.

This natural disaster has destroyed thousands of lives. Thanks to the online community, Japan has been able to stay connected to some sort of normality. Via Twitter, the globe has united in genuine empathy and provided a virtual shoulder for the Japanese to lean on.