“The Brussels bombings left cellphone networks strained, causing officials to advise the public to use social networks to communicate with friends and loved ones. They also advised against streaming audio or video to avoid overloading the local Internet.”
I was in London the morning this happened, with a class consisting of folks from a few places around Europe. They were using Facebook’s Safety Check to look for notifications that folks they knew in Belgium were safe before we started class. Thankfully, they were and we went on with the day. Not everyone was so lucky.
This does, however, show the power of social networks, being able to get a message out to family and friends through the network instead of trying to reach each individual on a saturated network. It works that way in an emergency, and it works that way just to keep in touch. You don’t have to like everything about it, but you can’t deny that benefit.