The Sunny Side of Social Media
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The Sunny Side of Social Media

  • January 25, 2013

The Sunny Side of Social Media

Guest Post by: Margaret Zygadlo

It seems that most things in life have a good and a bad; a pro and a con; an angel and a demon – and social media is no exception.

You’ve probably heard both sides of this highly popularized argument:

PROS

CONS

Staying connected with friends regardless of geographical location

Professional networking

Easier & faster way of sharing content with friends (i.e. photos, videos, etc…)

Fast way of connecting with strangers for a specific cause

Event sharing and promotion

Marketing

Misrepresentation

Spreading of false news

Time-waster

Inhibits social abilities outside of a virtual world (i.e. in traditional social settings)

Privacy issues

Blurring lines between personal and professional lives

Marketing

This list could easily be three times as long as what I’ve shared as more people contribute their own good and bad experiences, and many of the items could fall under both a pro and a con – like Marketing.

I’ve had my own experience with various social media platforms and I’d like to share one particularly positive social media experience I’ve had in the past couple of months that connects to the idea that social media provides a fast way of connecting with strangers for a specific cause.

This is the story of my lost dog – Roxy.

Roxy

5:30 PM  – Received phone call from my pops saying he can’t find our family dog Roxy. Naturally I start calling all my family membersto ask if someone left the door open, or if Roxy was in the house when everyone left in the morning. Frantic, everyone is as confused as I was.

Nothing. No Roxy.

5:40 PM – Start looking for the Parkland Animal Shelter/Pound info to see if she had been turned in. Got linked to their Facebook page.

5:55 PM – Roxy is home again

This is what happened in between:

Missing Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following this series of events, there was a large number of people who commented in awe of what just happened, but their shock and joy was surely not greater than my own.

To summarize, a complete stranger had picked up my dog and posted on Parkland Shelter’s Facebook page approximately two minutes before I clicked onto the same page to finding my Roxy. Some of the Anti-Facebook crowd like my boyfriend could probably argue that this was pure luck, but luck was definitely not the only element at play in this story. The popularity of social media sites like Facebook is what led two very different people to the same Internet site to solve a problem of a missing dog. The speed at which this is able to happen in today’s society is incredible.

In my situation I both lost and found my dog in less than 30 minutes. In the past, without the accessibility of Internet and real-time response capabilities of social media sites, I would have called Parkland Animal Shelter and left a message as it was after regular working hours, and then maybe received a return call in the morning, and then MAYBE had the opportunity to pick up my dog later that afternoon.

It is impossible to predict what would have happened had social media had not been available to us, but the good that social media has done in this situation cannot be argued even by the harshest of critics.

My story is not one-of-a-kind – be it lost dogs, or missing children, social media has had played a major role in bringing strangers together to create an awareness, and in some cases to provide a solution.  I was certainly lucky, but social media has also given a potential for others to be just as fortunate in their search for missing pets, missing people, or just a missing wallet.

So keep tweeting, keep posting, and keep positive!