You might have heard that we experienced a magnitude-5.6 earthquake last week, which got everyone in the area a little shaken up (except for this super chill gorilla, of course). While Japan experiences earthquakes incredibly frequently, this one was a little bigger than usual, and had many in Japan diving for cover.

Oh, no, wait, they dived for their smartphones instead…

If you own a Japanese smartphone, you’ll notice it comes with earthquake alerts as standard. When the earthquake hit the other day, I was napping on a train while listening to music on my phone. Everything was cool until I was woken suddenly by a horrible alarm sound and a calm female voice saying “Earthquake”. Since I was on a train, I didn’t feel a thing, but it was a funny feeling seeing literally every single passenger suddenly looking at their phones in alarm, since they also got the same alert.

But what to do in the midst of an earthquake? Stand in a sturdy doorway? Get under a table? Panic and start rocking back and forth?

How about doing none of those things and instead getting on Twitter to see how everyone else is reacting? In Japan, it turns out that this is what most people tend to do of late, as illustrated by this handy infographic that’s been doing the rounds online!

There are three potential reasons for this strange behaviour, as far as I can see. Firstly, Japan gets a lot of earthquakes. And I mean a lot. Television shows are regularly interrupted or accompanied by scrolling alerts whenever one happens, with text on the screen showing the severity, location and potential risk of tsunami. So it’s no surprise that a lot of people here have become somewhat desensitized to earthquakes. Secondly, since the severity of an earthquake changes depending how far out from the epicentre you are, many people immediately check their social media accounts to make sure friends in other places are okay, even if the earthquake wasn’t particularly strong right where they were. Lastly, since you get that earthquake alert on your phone anyway, and you already have your phone in your hand – you may as well fire up Twitter and see what people are saying about it!

▼ When in doubt, tweet it out!

While big earthquakes are of course no laughing matter, some people in Japan still find them an excellent opportunity to break out a few jokes. “Did your boobs jiggle?” asked one cheeky Twitter user. “Not much,” responded another.

While it may be hard to understand this laid-back response to a potentially disastrous situation, we reckon it’s always better to keep calm in a crisis. Still, maybe it’s wise to pay a little more attention to your surroundings and leave the tweeting until after the ground has stopped shaking…

Source: Naver Matome
Main Image: Twitter @jiyunaJP