FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
In the hours and days following the disastrous earthquake in Haiti, technology is proving that the world is smaller than ever.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/15/art.earthquake1.jpg caption="Haitians pass in front of the multi-story St. Gerard School that collapsed, leaving what is feared to be dozens trapped or killed under the rubble in Port-au-Prince."]
For starters - some of the first pictures in the aftermath of the earthquake came from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. When there was no video yet and traditional media weren't able to broadcast... it was newer technologies that showed the world how bad things were in Haiti... and how quickly help was needed.
And, it's not just about the change in delivering information. Technology is also a key factor in relief aid. So far - it's estimated Americans pledged more than $8 million via text message to the Red Cross alone... plus millions to other charities.
The Red Cross mobilized giving efforts through social networking sites... and so far hundreds of thousands of people have donated $10 each via texts to the Red Cross. It's quick and easy... and the charge appears on the user's cell phone bill.
The text message donations for Haiti also dwarf the amounts raised after Hurricane Katrina and the Indian ocean tsunami.
Of course, this is only part of a larger flow of money being donated to Haiti... but it's significant because relief agencies are reaching young people, typically the hardest to track down... and who might not have traditionally given. Some suggest texting has "opened up a whole new world for philanthropy."
Here’s my question to you: How has technology made the world smaller following a disaster like the Haiti quake?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Hi Jack, The heart-warming response to this disaster from around the world in such a short time is proof that technology does make a difference. The very first glimpses of this terrible tragedy were through cell phones. One can text a contribution, use the internet or even a phone to be of help and keep abreast of developments. Rescue efforts have vastly improved because of technology. It saves lives in a manner which was unthinkable just a decade back.
Matthew in Oxnard, California writes:
Technology has made it so younger people are now donating. I'm 17 and I donated through texting. I would have never donated any other way because I don't know how. But I do know how to text.
It is amazing how much the ability to text donations has affected my peer group. As a middle class, 30-year-old, I have rarely seen any mention of donations for an international emergency in the past amongst my friends. This time around, nearly all of my friends have donated. Furthermore, I was able to raise $50 around a pool table the other night just mentioning the text possibility. Within minutes, 5 people (both friends and strangers) sent $10. This is an amazing advancement.
Jack, Yes, technology has been huge in this tragedy, but so has CNN. I'm absolutely in awe of the job you all are doing. If this gives you a big head, so be it, you deserve it.
Lynn in Columbia, Missouri writes:
It's amazing and impressive… The outpouring of generosity is very heartwarming in light of our own unemployment and financial woes. It makes me feel very proud of us.
Nanette in Minnesota writes:
It certainly brings the urgency right to my living room, where I'm laying on my couch recuperating from hip surgery, feeling more fortunate by the hour that I had anesthesia for it. Feeling pretty humbled by it all, I challenged my Facebook friends to donate to the Red Cross on their cell phones today. If we have the technology, then we'd better make the most of it.