With Technology Comes Responsibility
– By Dr
The spread of mass panic through SMS is unnecessary and people need to
learn to look at information with a more critical eye.
People in general are too quick to pass on information without checking
if it originates from someone they trust. Propagating certain dubious and
false information can often have devastating results. The origin of such
messages is rarely known, but the intentions are often far from good.
We live in a world where everyone is a potential publisher. Modern
technology gives us the opportunity to spread information far and wide
through a variety of different channels. Through blogs, social media
applications, e-mail, SMS, and chat programs, we can send information,
opinions and multi-media to virtually anywhere in the world.
Having so many means available to spread and gather information has many
benefits. For one, governments cannot get away with hiding information.
Protests of doubt around the legitimacy of last year’s Iranian elections
results were proof of this. The protests were dubbed “The Twitter Revolution”
due to the protesters’ dependence on social networking platform Twitter and
other similar Internet sites to communicate with each other.
This mass-panic through technology is not a new phenomenon – in 1938 the
first segment of HG Wells’ War of the Worlds was aired over the Columbia
Broadcasting System radio network. Since the first episode was done as a
simulated news bulletin, many listeners thought that an actual Martian
invasion was taking place. As the news spread from person to person, America
was soon caught in a state of mass panic and widespread confusion.
More than 70 years on, people are still letting themselves fall victim to
rumours and hearsay without first determining the accuracy of so-called
‘facts’. Take the recent politically-laden SMSes that did the rounds around
the time of
sensationalist, potentially damaging and very much untrue. Yet, they managed
to spread mass panic, unrest, fear and scepticism among citizens of the
Don’t just send it on
What many fail to realise is that with the increased power of mass
information dissemination, comes increased responsibility. One has to become
more discerning in how one approaches communications using new technologies.
The SMS channel is an especially dangerous means of transmitting
upsetting messages. Because it is delivered directly to your phone and
generally used as a means to alert, the gravity of the situation is
amplified. The key is to stop and think before sending an SMS. Before
potentially adding to or building on an already existing problem, ask
yourself what the purpose of the message is and what the results would be if
you were to send it on. Simply put, society needs to change and begin looking
at the source of their information more critically.
BulkSMS.com (http://www.bulksms.com/), a division of Celerity Systems
(Pty) Ltd, has been in operation since 2000 and is headquartered in
Town, South Africa
provider offering bulk SMS messaging solutions to large and small businesses,
public benefit organisations, and individuals. BulkSMS.com has a global
market presence, including
United States of America
BulkSMS offers two-way bulk SMS messaging, premium rate solutions and
supports mobile marketing campaigns to further an organisation’s SMS
communication needs. BulkSMS flagship messaging solution is the BulkSMS Text
Messenger, an application that allows clients to quickly deploy an SMS
service from a computer.
The company is a member of the Wireless Application Service Provider
Association (WASPA) and the Mobile Marketing Association.