Imagine the concept where the humble text message could become more than just a way of staying connected with friends and family. Truth has it; a text could ultimately save your life.
When the devastating 2004 Tsunami hit the Indian Ocean, mobile phones were utilised in a variety of different ways. This simple device documented the event through photos, was a major source of communication generating phone calls and texts and also assisted rescuers with locating survivors. Social media joined in with Google setting up a “Person Finder” web app to link victims with family. (altered paragraph)
Presently, Government officials are sending SMS messages to alert residents of valuable information. Texting was used in the recent Riverina floods by SES workers to inform residents of North Wagga of the impending flood levels. This information prepared residents, provided evacuation procedures and confirmed when it was safe to return to their homes.
This is also witnessed in my everyday life where my University Campus regularly send residents text messages about news, safety tips and updates; reaching a large audience in a short amount of time.
This concept of consumers becoming the producers is evident with the community sending photos and videos from their mobile phones to mainstream media and via their own personal blogs. With this idea, consumers are taking responsibility for their own information and spreading it accordingly through their own media platforms, raising the question if not us, then who? The biggest change that can be seen through industry practices and technology is that people are gaining knowledge/information from other people rather than news networks. This is due to the advantage of the consumer’s audience being able to talk back and forth and to each other, thus the idea of consumers being the producers is made clear by Clay Shirky.
In the image people choose to interact with each other rather than relying on other media platforms (eliminating the gatekeepers)
This idea can be observed through the media platform of Skype where communication is not only heard but is seen and allows people from all over the world to communicate face to face.
As consumers we continue to succeed in all media platforms as producers. We are able to provide and spread relevant information to others quickly, by word or by image, in its entirety not airbrushed; potentially we can save people’s life.