#YolandaPH: Intelligent Social Media Use during Crisis

My heart grieves for those who suffer and to those who have passed because of the terrible calamity that is Super Typhoon Yolanda. It is during times like these when people like our leaders are tested and asked: Where do your values lie? Which do you prioritize? Why weren’t we prepared?

No one was ever prepared for nature’s onslaught. Easily dubbed the strongest typhoon, no one could have foreseen the havoc. Just when we thought we were used to these typhoons, these environmental calamities, here comes Yolanda proving once again that nature is not ours. We do not own and control it.


It’s so hard to get back to “regular programming”. I have tons of articles on fashion and beauty to publish and have now put them on hold. They don’t matter. What I find weird is how some businesses seem to just be putting it under the rug. I can’t believe these people, carelessly posting selfies, mindlessly complaining about their fancy yet tasteless meals, and nonchalantly tweeting about which smartphone to buy. It baffles me how easy they get back to that lifestyle!

“Just donated xxx to xxx! I feel so happy!” “Where can I donate xxx?” “Gonna donate my xxx today! #donate #YolandaPH” — These updates, I can forgive (as compared to the last paragraph). Donating and volunteering is a big green check for me! You go, girl! BUT do you really need to post your status update. Asking for volunteers make sense, but updating the world that you just donated x amount to x city makes you no different to politicians who put their giant faces on tarpaulins with words like “Seasons Greetings from Mayor So and So” or “This Ambulance is from the project of Senator I don’t Know”. Just. Don’t.

If you sincerely want to know, there’s Google. There’s Rappler.

So when do you really get back to regular programming? That’s really up to you.


Maybe you’re forgetting. The very fact that you can read this blog post already shows so much of what you have: internet access, network signal, gadgets, shelter, just to name a few. Heck, you’re lucky to even be up and alive right now. I thank God for granting me one more day!

So, what do you do with all that power? Let’s start with the basics:

1.) SHARE – Share links to important updates, network announcements, volunteer centers (for the sake of those people who still don’t know how to use Google, and still ask where they can donate/volunteer), infographics and more.

2.) HASHTAG – When you use a hashtag, it’s for everyone to see so make sure it’s important. We don’t want to be flooding and flushing down important updates with useless ones.

Important: “Need volunteers in Leyte ASAP! Please contact xxxx from 8am-9pm today. #ReliefPH #YolandaPH”, “Please send rescue in xxx now! #RescuePH #YolandaPH”

Useless: “1 Retweet = 1 Prayer #YolandaPH #ReliefPH”, “OMGGGG CRYYIIINGGGG #YolandaPH #RescuePH”

3.) DONATE – Donate to the Philippine Red Cross, text RED to 4143 (Smart) and 2899 (Globe), or online through Unicef, GlobalGiving.com, or the Catholic Relief Services.


I can write a longer post and rant so much more, but at the end of the day it’s still your Facebook and Twitter account, it’s still your little slice of internet. Just remember, a lot of people are relying on social media right now to SURVIVE AND GET BACK ON THEIR FEET. Show genuine sympathy and try to make less (unimportant) noise on the internet.

xx C

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