Social Media and Stranded Travelers

April 19, 2010  |  Education

Social Media.  A lot of Boomers just don’t see the point.  They’ll tell you technology is, to put it mildly, “highly over-rated”.   But tell that to the thousands of travelers stranded in airports all over the world this week thanks to that cloud of volcanic ash spewing at us from Iceland.  Truth be told, maybe Social Media isn’t as “highly over-rated” as those Boomers imagined. (More…)

Not only are these folks making use of Facebook and Twitter to share their frustrations, they’re also making use of them to engineer inventive ways of getting home.   Facebook groups like “Carpool Europe” and “When Volcanoes Erupt” are attracting a huge following.  Stranded travelers are on Twitter, too, using hashtags like “#getmehome” and “#putmeup” so that Good Samaritans can find them… (Never heard of a hashtag? It’s a reference with the so-called “hash” sign in front of it “#”.  These hashtags  let you search Twitter for anything, really, but in this case for travelers who need help.   i.e.  If you search “#getmehome” on Twitter, you’ll see hundreds of messages from people desperate to get home. )

It’s not the perfect solution.  The perfect solution would be for that volcano in Iceland to stop spewing deadly ash.  But in the absence of that, Social Media is offering people a way to not only find each other, and do it fast… but to help each other.   Same sort of situation we saw unfold during the earthquake in Haiti.

Odds are a lot of these stranded travelers are Baby Boomers.  Wondering what they think of Social Media now.   “Highly over-rated”?  Or a Godsend?  I suspect their opinions may have changed…

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