Japan- Social Networking

As most people know, the earthquake in Japan has created many problems. Whether it’s entire homes being swept away from the flooding, nuclear plants exploding, or the massive death and missing toll sweeping across the nation, many people are making an effort to rebuild the country. Since many people have family in Japan, it’s important to get in contact with them to know they’re okay. Since phones were no longer working in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, social networking sites such as Facebook and Google were used to reunite friends and family members. Kaitlyn Sweeney, a freshman, contacted her aunt’s friend Katherine Heasley, an English teacher in Japan, by using Google. She taught in Kamaishi Iwate, Japan, but she used to live in Japan,” Sweeney said. “I Googled pictures of the people being evacuated for the tsunami, and after looking through a few, I found her in one of the pictures,” Sweeney said. “She looks a lot different than most of the people there,” Sweeney said. “She’s like six feet tall and white. “When I found her picture, I used the link to find out what evacuation center they were heading toward. Then, I contacted the shelter using Twitter and they translated the Americans in the camp and we found out she was there.” Although the school teacher is safe, there is a downside of the story. “It wiped out her whole town and house.” Taral Clayton, a freshman, also connected using the internet with a friend affected by the tsunami. “My friend and I met through the Japanese exchange program, and I took different trips to Japan,” Clayton said. Luckily, Clayton’s friend’s story had a happy ending. “We contacted them through email. They said they were all okay, there were some damages to the house, but no injuries.” Then, there was everyone else who didn’t personally know anyone in Japan, but used social networking to find out new information about the devastation. Savanna Hartley, a sophomore, used Facebook to keep updated on the events. “My friends put news about Japan as their statuses, and that’s how I was notified,” Hartley said. “It’s free and fast, so I feel it’s the best way to be notified. It’s easier to get information more direct, and it’s constantly streaming. I think it’s a good method, because many teenagers don’t watch the news, so this allows them to access new information.” Since a lot more kids know information about the devastation, they are able to make a bigger effect, and help Japan. “Our prayers are with the people in Japan,” Hartley said.