Population all over the world are challenged with many long-standing difficulties such as poverty, natural disasters, lack of food and clean water, war, and diseases. New technologies have been advanced to aid in alleviating these social problems.
Improvements in technology have been built to make it possible for ordinary people to resolve big problems without necessarily depending on governments, investigators or even powerful individuals. Technological improvements such as the social media, mobile apps, cell phones, and internet have helped resolve several issues throughout the world. This article argues that growth of mobile devices is the furthermost important technology in solving world problems in the context of social media and digital humanitarianism.
The invention of mobile devices and their general acceptance has helped to resolve main problems around the world. This is because the devices have channels through which a network can be created for individuals to connect on a regular basis for a public purpose. Such purposes embrace staying in contact with close friends and relatives, business deals and transactions, humanitarian aid, and transfer of money. For example, during the worst situation of Kerala floods of India in August 2018, mobile devices were used to gather funds from digital humanitarians, to map out crisis areas, and to provide status reports.
Digital humanitarianism uses crisis mapping to make vital information accessible faster than the out-dated means of communication. Therefore, it assistances crisis response by creating a sense of fellowship and synergy. Digital humanitarians use mobile devices to provide urgent information about major crises like fire, bombings, or earthquakes.
It does so by utilizing digital coaction, which is the use of social media to progress conditions for humanity. For example, in the incident of Kerala, digital humanitarians perused through texts, Facebook posts, and other messages to collect information about victims. The information was used by crisis-response agencies to deliver help in a timely manner.
The ability of mobile devices to incorporate technological submissions such as the social media platforms, money transfer, Internet, and mapping applications has made it the furthermost important tool for solving world issues. Muggah and Meier (2013) distinguished that relief organizations can help from new technologies such as mobile devices if they change their mind-set. The administrations will benefit from volunteer and technical communities created in social media in response to major disasters.
Granryd (2017) described five ways through which mobile technology helps in humanitarian emergencies. First, through basic connectivity people are able to communicate in times of crises either through texts, phone calls or internet. Secondly, through humanitarian cash transfers, relief agencies are able to deliver assistance for instance by using mobile money. For example, in Kenya, mobile network operators Safaricom and Airtel partner with relief organizations such as the Red Cross to collect aid donations in case of emergencies. The third way mobile devices help is by providing identity by authenticating those affected by disasters. Fourthly, Mobile technology has increased access to utilities such as power and water, especially for people living in emerging economies. Finally, Granryd (2017) noted that mobile technologies improve dignity and choice by helping communities self-organize and respond to disasters.
The current world problems include climate change, tsunamis, drought, floods, hurricanes, and terrorism all of which lead to deaths, injuries, and damage to property. At the same time, the use of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile technologies have increased. Therefore, governments and relief agencies, as well as ordinary citizens, should use mobile technology to provide aid and communication in times of emergencies. In this regard, policymakers and entrepreneurs should develop applications and mobile tools necessary to mitigate damage, save lives, and communicate to the public.
Mobile devices, especially the smartphones which are internet enabled, aid the users to access social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook that are changing the world in various ways. For instance, the health industry uses reviews in social media to improve its performance. In addition, it helps people who are suffering from a similar condition to stay in touch. Secondly, social media is helping to solve the problem of bad governance by allowing citizens to share ideas, initiatives, and plans which help leaders become more accountable, transparent, and hardworking. Thirdly, social media has helped disaster response, for instance, the Facebook’s Safety Check which allows users in disaster areas to confirm their safety.
As it has been discussed in this paper, new technology helps in alleviating societal problems such as natural disasters. In the context of social media and digital humanitarianism, mobile phone technology has been shown to be the most important tool in solving world problems. Mobile devices have opened channels for people to connect with close family members, relatives, friends, business partners, and clients. Mobile phones help in connecting with people affected by disasters through innovative ways such as hotspots and crisis Apps to improve resilience and cooperation among the various actors in the humanitarian sector. By increasing access to information and communication, mobile technology helps both the affected and those who are helping. For instance, Ushahidi is an open source innovative model that works with mobile technology to organize events and disasters into timelines and interactive maps thereby providing accurate information in real-time.