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Hurricane Irma “Shocks the World”

Hurricane Irma was the icing on the cake for many this past weekend, as she rocked Florida as a Category 3 hurricane upon landfall. Irma shocked those that decided not to evacuate and flooded many parts of Miami, Naples, and Fort Myers.

Since social media is such a huge game changer, Irma made gains on the Twitter-verse and in Facebook events. As a result, the natural disaster not only became monumental in scale, but in the public eye.

Speculation surrounds what led to social media having this impact. Was it us, as users, suddenly become interested in world events? Some may consider that the series of events prior to and following Irma sparked the recent interest. Hurricane Harvey affected 13 million people, leaving nothing but bodies of water where families once resided. Hurricane Jose became a wide-known threat to the Caribbean well before Irma took its action. Mother Nature was not giving anyone a break.

Or perhaps it was the fact that everyone is now glued to Twitter due to the current presidential administration using it as a news platform? Some may argue this could have influenced Irma’s media-exposure.

However, I believe it was the psychological need to make ourselves feel better that caused us to be involved in these world events.

We cannot forget about the prominence of meme culture either. The tweets that go viral, or the Facebook events such as, “Throw Coconut Oil into The Hurricane”,“Spinning your arms really fast to push away Hurricane Irma”, and “Let Irma know you’re a junior by credits” are hilarious, but they have the potential to be destructive in the humanitarian effort following the hurricane.

Do they take away from the donating and the efforts to help the hurricane, or do they promote the help? It’s a controversial topic, and I don’t know what I believe.

I personally think that memes and Facebook events benefit current affairs, such as these hurricanes. They help move these events into the public eye of many, promote donations, and allow the #youths to be more involved with what is happening in their nation. However, the problem lies in to what is and is not believed, and it is important to me that only the truths go viral.




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Lauren Styczynski

Cincinnati '20

Lauren is a third year at UC, from the Cincinnati area. She loves to laugh, and is pursuing a career as a scientist.
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