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Facebook: Tweens use for Emergency Services


Nearly laughed out loud when I saw this one in a local cafe:

Girls used Facebook to call for help

by Amy Noonan, Police Reporter on News.com.au

TWO girls used the social networking site Facebook to call for help after getting stuck in a southern suburbs drain.

It’s believed the girls, aged 10 and 12, became trapped in the Honeypot Rd drain, on the border of Hackham West and Noarlunga Downs, after walking around drains in the area sometime before 7.30pm.

It’s believed they used a mobile phone to update their status.

Metropolitan Fire Service Crews used a ladder to assist the girls in climbing to safety.

Ambulance crews were on the scene but the girls were not injured and did not require treatment.

Walking through drains is known as “urban exploring” or “urban caving”, and has a popular sub-culture in many major cities, including Adelaide.

One group is known as “Cave Clan”.

However, flash flooding is a danger for drain dwellers – last year a man, 25, and a woman, 21, drowned after the Sydney drain they were spraying with graffiti flooded last year.

A third person survived by squeezing through bars and washing out to sea.

Why did I have a chuckle? Well, they had a mobile PHONE. One that can speed dial mum, big brother, a teacher, the Police, Ambulance, Hospitals. Remember 000? 911 in the US? 999 (I think) in Britain?  Yet they chose to use it to update their Facebook status. I’ll go into why in a moment.

Also … I know Honeypot Rd in South Australia. When I was a wee lass I had a horse over there. Sam’s riding school was on Honeypot. It’s all suburbs now of course. But I think I remember a drain over that way.

Back to the kids.

Facebook_side

Social Network = Social Help

When you were a kid and fell over and your friends were around you, how many said “you should go home and see your mum”? Not one. That was the dreaded end to festivities. Nothing short of bones sticking out of wounds would convince any of us to get help from a grownup.

Plus, if you tell an adult, they make a fuss. So its’ the usual bind – if kids don’t tell an adult they have to figure out what to do themselves. And if they do tell an adult, they lose control on the situation. Enter the social network. Now you can abdicate decision making while not abdicating control. “help, I’m stuck in a drain, what should I do?” offers social search in times of stress without the final OMG-we-are-in-so-much-trouble repercussions of formally informing an adult that y’know, we were playing in the drain. Yes that drain. Yes, the one that we were specifically told not to go near. Yes we guess we’ve learned our lesson now. Yep we understand there will be no Playstation for 2 weeks. But nooo don’t take away our Facebook access… we need that for the next time we fall down a drain!!!!

Kids…. tsk tsk

Incredibly important today is understanding how social networking protects our children. There is stuff they can’t tell a parent or a teacher or the police but they can’t bottle up any more. So they tell their friends, they tell people they play online games with, they write anonymously on websites full of emo-angst and they tell forum moderators and game GMs, who understand and ‘get them’. Expect to see lots more “we should’ve seen it coming” from adults waking up to teens pushing out warnings on online communities. It keeps them safe in the absence of an understanding adult.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

19 thoughts on “Facebook: Tweens use for Emergency Services

  1. Hmmm, that’s interesting! I mean, no offense meant to the social network sites, I have a facebook account myself, but the emergency numbers are still the best numbers to call when in danger. If I were the parents, I’d instil that to the mind of my children.

    1. …and if your kids are playing down a drain – where they aren’t meant to go – do you think they will take the HUGE step of calling emergency? or do you think they will call a mate?

  2. I know the girls they were scared and embarrased,, wouldnt you be.
    Do you really think yourr parents would come running to you with open arms after that?? You idiots

  3. Google search “David Ireland”

    When a teen dials 000 the operator thinks its a hoax, demands to know the nearest intersection, and berates the caller for sounding hysterical.

    Read those David Ireland results and rethink your response. He was 14 when he died on a Blue Mountains hiking track because all his many calls to 000 were treated appallingly.

    1. that story made me cry.
      http://bit.ly/hwQYm <--- I tweeted the media article. So sad. Every kid should be given a GPS phone immediately. One their parents can check on a map for them.

  4. Hi LP – it is gutwrenching to read the transcripts of David’s calls for help.
    I am so sad for his parents thinking forever of him dying frightened and alone with only nastiness ringing in his ears.
    The Cave Clan girls knew where allies would be and where they would not.

    In an emergency, we are all pretty much alone, and this is only discovered after the experience of actually being a 000 dialler.
    .-= Ann O’Dyne´s last blog ..THE Rolling Stone =-.

    1. One of my very first jobs, at the then Telecom Australia was working Directory Assistance 013, and occassionally 000. I hated it, made me nervous… others took it less seriously. The switchboard back then was actually about 4 buttons. Red flashing to take the call, then other buttons to connect to other services. Nightmare, i always worried I’d press the wrong buttons. Most the time it was kids mucking aroundin telephone boxes. Remember them – broken or gone now.

  5. Hi people do you want to know the truth now, i know the girls an the real ages of those girls are 14y an a 20y old now do you feel sorry for them, now the truth comes out! Most kids or adults would have more sence, hit them with a big bill that might teach them a lesson well there ages got hidden hey 10y an 12y what a joke.

  6. How could the ages of the girls get badley mistaken as the 20y looks even older than her age an the 14y old girl is very old for her age always getting into trouble with the police for lots of differant offences the drains at hackem are well known by her as she has hidden down them before to hide from the police an shes never had trouble before lol i know the young girl she should pay for what she does! but the law lets her get away with it i feel sorry for the public for being told differant it would be ok if told the truth by the news so this kid will get away with it again lets feel sorry for them now lmao an who is footing the bill

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