A new report published by the United Nations has brought to light a staggering finding about the effectiveness of well-wishers towards people in disaster-stricken regions. Contrary to widespread belief, neither thinking about nor praying for said people actually makes any difference whatsoever. One avid social media blogger had strong opinions on the report.
“This is outrageous! I spent a whole 9 seconds typing out a tweet offering my thoughts and prayers to the people of Dunexististan when I heard about the tsunam–I mean, earthquake. It was an earthquake, right? Sorry, I only saw the headline pop up in my Facebook newsfeed, I didn’t actually click the link. How can you say that it didn’t make a difference???”
The study shows that there is zero correlation between the number of thoughts and prayers offered via social media platforms and the rate at which disasters are mitigated. Instead, relief efforts depended largely on factors such as local infrastructure, gross funds donated by governments and individuals to reputable aid organizations, and the severity of the disaster in question. One of the key authors of the report, R. U. Lissenen, was asked to speculate on why this might be.
“Well, as far as we can tell,” stated Lissenen, “all the factors that affect relief efforts are in some way connected to the people suffering the tragedy. However, electronic messages appear to have trouble reaching God during a disasters. We hypothesize that the unusually high volume of traffic causes Heaven’s servers to crash, rendering any sort of divine response impossible for a fixed period of time, generally until a few days after the disaster is over or however long it takes for the brief Internet mourning period to end.”
This is sad news for the majority of people who want to be able to show concern without actually making any personal sacrifices to help others, but there’s more, according to Lissenen.
“Thoughts and prayers aren’t the only thing that do not correlate with help in disaster-stricken areas,” he added. “We’ve also found evidence that temporary profile picture filters on Facebook are also useless as a means of helping those in need, even if said filters are left up until after the tragedy is forgotten by the user.”
Lissenen and others have suggested that further research will need to be conducted to verify the impacts of Snapchat Stories on international crises.