Emergency Managers Slow in Adopting Social Media
I know why emergency managers are slow in adopting social media. It appears to be a battle between those who are moving with the wind of transformation versus those who are victims of the wind of stagnation. It is telling episode of something that I observed several years ago.
When I watch the hesitation and frustration of emergency and public safety authorities in embracing the new wind of change, I am reminded of some fierce battles I once observed growing up in Africa. It was a battle between those who love change versus those who love the choice to stay put.
In the 1970s, everyone in my village fetched water in large rounded gourds, popularly known out there as calabashes. In the 1980s plastic containers arrived. Most villagers resisted changing to the sturdier plastic containers to fetch water. They totally ignored the fact that plastic containers could last longer. In the 1990s, pipe-borne water arrived. More progressive villages started invested in pipe-borne water projects to enable everyone to have water in their homes.
My beleaguered village and couple of others resisted the adoption of pipe-borne water. They said, they did not want to see water pipes running through their homes. They argued that it was not possible for tiny little pipes to carry more water than plastic containers which they had finally adopted.
Today, for me, each time, I see emergency managers opposing the adoption of the social media, I am reminded of those old water battles. I am also reminded that human beings will resist change, no matter if the change is going to make their lives better.
One does not need to be a genius to realize that though the pipes are much smaller than large gourds and plastic containers, they carry way more water.Today, it does not take long to realize that although the social media is seemingly invincible like the water pipes, it brings tremendous power and capacity to shape the future of emergency communication.
Tell me what you think about this unfolding drama.
Gideon F. For-mukwai, CEM
Chief Preparedness Officer