Take a minute to think about an average day in your life. What’s the first thing you reach for when you wake up? What do you keep in your pocket all day, every day? What’s the last thing you look at before you go to sleep?
That’s right: your smart phone. (And if that’s not your answer, you’re quite the anomaly!)
Love it or hate it, our phones — and particularly, social media — have taken over our lives. Undoubtedly, there are downsides to this. No one wants to admit they spend hours every day scrolling through Facebook.
But if you take stock of all that social media has to offer, it’s not all bad. In fact, from a risk management perspective, much of it is invaluable in our day-to-day functions.
Facebook, for example, is becoming the new “town square” for community alerts and information. When we want to know what’s happening around us, it’s the first place many of us go. There are now more than 10 million groups on Facebook, with 1.4 billion people using them. A great many of them have a local focus, operating as forums to discuss happenings and share updates with other residents of their towns and surrounding areas.
Here are just a few examples of information often shared in Facebook groups, and all over social media:
- Road closures
- Traffic alerts
- Power outages
- School closings
- Flooding and other weather alerts
When you take into account the real-time and accessible nature of social media, it’s hard to argue that it’s keeping us safer than ever before.