Another exciting part of tomorrow? I continue my experiment of boycotting the most popular social-networking website that is quickly taking over the world. I have to say that I am quite pleased with how it's going so far. In an effort to focus more on my schoolwork, I have given up Facebook before. However, this time is especially liberating. So far, I have not seen an improvement in my schoolwork productivity, but I have certainly given my time more significance.
I love reading about my friends, and I would love to look at their photos from the Newport St. Patrick's day parade, but this afternoon, instead of procrastinating through stalker activities, I decided to educate myself. I will admit that I have replaced Facebook with another social media alternative--Twitter--however I have already seen the benefits of a life free from the "book."
As much as the news might be depressing, as citizens of the most powerful country in the world, it is important for us to be educated about world events. Friday, Japan was hit with the most powerful earthquake it has seen in recorded history. The Los Angeles Times reported that the death toll is "expected to ultimately reach tens of thousands." Currently, Japanese officials report that the death toll is 1,627 with more missing. Japan's Prime Minister has said that this earthquake is the worst crisis to face the country since World War II.
I will not go ahead and assume that the majority of Americans are not aware of such a tragedy--I take it many people know that many Japanese have been found dead and the quake was "intense." What I don't believe, however, is that Americans understand the economic and emotional impact this natural disaster has made on the country. One of our most talked-about natural disasters, Hurricane Katrina, whose economic impacts remain of the most significant in the country's last 100 years, concluded its death toll at a count of 1,100, according to the Associated Press. The city was abandoned after the storm struck on Aug. 29, 2005, and officials are saying that because of the city's abandonment, even in 2007, the storm's death toll was still rising.
So, what does this mean for Japan? Already, the country has lost more people than did Katrina from the quake itself. In the aftermath, what should they expect? Will there be a massive wave of suicides because of the psychological effects of this earthquake? Or will the Japanese instantly clean up the city and reunite families faster than did Louisiana.
Certainly this is no easy task. One thing is for sure: Prime Minister Naoto Kan has his work cut out for him. But here in the U.S., we can't sit and watch. Being informed is important, but what good does it do if we don't take a stand? We can either absorb these facts and feel bad for our Asian allies, or we can set an example as the greatest nation in the world and help the thousands of earthquake victims who need us. We would want them to do the same, right?
Living 4,000 miles away, possibly farther, from Tokyo, I feel very insignificant in the project to help Japan. But it is important to remember that there is always something we can do.
The Red Cross has already given Americans an easy way to help out. All you have to do is text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund.
So, as Nike would put it, just do it. Donate now and be the change. BE IT!