June 30 is Social Media Day – a day when millions of people all over the world celebrate the advent of technological advancements that have shrank the world and allowed people who live on opposite sides of the world, whether they know each other in real life or have met virtually through a common forum, social networking site, or some form of online community.
The world is indeed so small today with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Plurk – the 3 more active sites I am on. On Facebook, I have rediscovered my elementary and high school classmates and touched base again with my closest college friends. On Twitter, I get to engage with celebrities, newspeople, bloggers and ordinary folks like myself in discussions that range from intellectual and political discussions to mundane tweets like ranting about the weather or what one is doing for the day. And Plurk is my haven, my closed community, where I get to share things not meant for Facebook or Twitter. Each of these social media sites have a purpose.
My world now revolves around social media. From the time I get up to the time I sleep, I am almost always online. Even when on the road, I feel uncomfortable when I am unable to check back into the internet to see the latest tweets, check if someone sent me email, or what the latest Facebook messages have been.
But it has not all been just socializing and making virtual friends. I have seen the power of social media in public service and in being an influencer. As part of Blog Watch, a citizen watch group that was formed in the months running up to the 2010 Philippine elections, blogger friends and I harnessed the technology and social media sites to bring voter education closer to the online community. To this day, we continue to use all the social media techniques available to us to continue our advocacy for transparency and good governance in government.
Being an archipelago that has borne the brunt of severe typhoons and is located in the Ring of Fire (surrounded by underwater volcanoes, thereby running the risk of earthquakes), we here in the Philippines are also slowly learning to use social media for emergency situations. Just today, the Metro Manila Traffic Navigator, a web-based, real-time traffic status updating application, was launched by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in partnership with TV5. My post on that is HERE. Government agencies and private individuals that are involved in weather forecasting are now on Twitter, giving the public round-the-clock weather updates during storms. People needing help in all forms have found a wider global access. I even saw an international news network talking about homeless people in the United States finding shelters through their mobile phones by logging on to social media sites like Twitter.
Mashable, an award-winning social media and tech news site, hosted 2010’s Social Media Day with over 600 Mashable meet-ups and over 12,000 people participating. Mashable is doing it again this year. And it is not only in the United States but all over the world. I’ve found at least 4 different Mashable meet-ups being planned in Metro Manila and nearby Angeles City.
Of course, since I’m already on social media sites practically every day, what do you do on Social Media Day?
GET OUT THERE AND SOCIALIZE…LIVE!
So that is exactly what I will be doing this June 30. I will be in a gathering of bloggers. Some of whom are already dear friends. Others I may know virtually and will be meeting for the first time. Whatever. It will be a day for social media people.
And of course, being out of the house does not mean I’ll be offline. I will be updating my social media sites while at the meet-up.
How are you planning to celebrate this day? If you plan to be at one of the Mashable meet-ups in the Metro, include the hashtag #smday in your tweet and be part of the global community celebrating Social Media Day.