March 24, 2011

Documenting Reality – The Fight, Flight or Film Generation.

If you were caught in the middle of a huge natural disaster, what would your first instinct be? Do you think that your natural fight or flight reaction would take over and carry you to safety, or do you think that you’d reach into your pocket, take out your smartphone and start recording/photographing/liveblogging the event?

After the recent tragedy in Japan, the Internet has been overwhelmed with videos and images documenting the events that unfolded after the earthquake. For the last week or so the most viewed YouTube videos have been shaky phone footage of total destruction, mammoth waves creeping forward and stories of unbelievable survival.

Whereas news networks like Russia Today and ITN have re-uploaded these instances of “citizen journalism” to their own YouTube channels and have benefited from the views, the knee jerk reaction of the original uploaders has a different motivation entirely. Which raises the question, what would you do given the same unimaginable situation?

Sharing media has never been easier, and being able to reach out to the world at the click of a button means that promoting causes, generating revenue for aid and sending out alerts takes a few seconds rather than a few hours and I truly feel privileged to be living in a world where all of this is accessible from the palm of your hand.

To donate to the British Red Cross tsunami appeal click here