You don't really need to read about how all pervasive Twitter, Facebook and all the rest of these sites has become. We experience it on a daily basis. From updates about new born babies, weddings, and jobs, to just dumb revelations and explanations, the things we see range from the brilliant to the bizarre, but mostly trivial. But at times these social networks have been the difference between life and death, and no I'm not talking in metaphors here.
Here are a few tales of how the Internet came to the rescue of these people.
1. Twitter helped rescue a missing snowboarder from the Swiss Alps.
Jason Tavaria went on a ski trip to the Swiss Alps and was separated from his group during a snowstorm. A member of their team used Twitter to get his phone number and then used Google locations to track him down.
2. Facebook helped a 22-month-old leukaemia patient find the perfect donor.
22-month-old Lona Stratton had been suffering from leukaemia since birth. Unfortunately, due to her half-Chinese half-English descent, her parents could not find a suitable bone marrow donor. However, her parents' appeal on Facebook helped them find a rare donor from Australia for their daughter.
3. An ambulance immediately came to the aid of an old lady after she fell down and updated her status on Facebook, asking for help.
Lois Shelton, a 75-year-old woman accidentally took a hard fall on the floor which left her paralyzed. Fortunately, she somehow managed to reach her laptop to put up a status on Facebook, asking for help. Her daughter-in-law read her status and immediately notified Lois's neighbours who called for an ambulance.
4. Facebook friends of a mother helped her understand her daughter's disease after she uploaded her picture on the Internet.
In March 2014, Tara Taylor posted her daughter Rylee's picture on Facebook, where her left eye was glowing. Most of Tara's friends assumed that the glow in Rylee's left eye was because of the camera's flash light and ignored it. However, two of her friends recognized the symptoms and recommended an immediate consultation with a doctor. She was later diagnosed with Coats disease.
5. Facebook helped save the life of this 16-year-old boy who planned to commit suicide.
In early April 2009, a 16-year-old boy let known his intentions about committing suicide while chatting on Facebook with his friend, who was sitting 5600 miles away in Maryland. Worried, his friend informed her mother, who directly phoned the police of the boy's area and controlled the situation.
6. A 20-year-old friend donated her kidney to this man after learning about his health problems through Facebook.
Diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, Nick Fosnot had to undergo an emergency operation to remove both his kidneys. Janine Pape Sansom, Nick's 20-year-old friend from school looked him up on Facebook one day and learnt about his condition. They hadn't met in 20 years but Sansom stepped up and donated one of her kidneys to Fosnot.
7. Twitter came to the aid of this biker who crashed in the woods.
While participating in a mini-triathlon, in July 2010, 36-year-old Leigh Fazzina was separated from her team when her front wheel bumped into a tree and she crashed in the woods. Unable to make any movements, she tweeted: "I've had a serious injury and NEED Help! Can someone please call Winding Trails in Farmington, CT tell them I'm stuck bike crash in woods." Within minutes of her update, an ambulance arrived.
8. Doctors could not help this woman but Facebook did, as she posted the pictures of her son's swollen face and figured out his disease.
Deborah Kogan noticed rash and fever on her 4-year-old son Leo and rushed him to the hospital. However, the doctor could not diagnose him properly and his condition only worsened. Feeling helpless, Deborah uploaded pictures of Leo's swollen face on Facebook and received help from her friends who realised what the condition was. He was suffering from a rare disease called Kawasaki.
9. A Facebook status helped this mother and son escape a 5-day-long sexual and physical assault by her own boyfriend.
On 25th December 2011, Erica Carver signed into her Facebook account and came across a weird status by a Facebook friend reading: “Hello. Is anyone out there? I am having a serious problem and me and (my son) will be dead by morning.” Erica immediately called her husband who was a colleague of this woman. On failing to reach her phone, he reported the matter to the local police, who helped this woman and her son escape a 5 day long brutal abuse by her own boyfriend .
10. A Facebook alert helped police find the kidnapper of a baby who was abducted from the hospital just minutes its birth.
On May 26 2014, Melissa McMahon gave birth to her daughter Victoria at a hospital in Quebec. Just after her birth, she was abducted by a hospital nurse who took the baby to her car and drove away. Only a few minutes later, an alert for the missing baby was issued on Facebook with the suspect's photo. The post went viral and one of culprit's neighbours provided the police with her address details. Later, Victoria was found at the same address provided by the neighbour and was safely handed back to her mother.
11. Facebook friends from 6 different states came to the rescue of this handicapped man who updated an incoherent status on Facebook.
On July 15 2015, 28-year-old Chris Thomas, who is restricted to his wheel chair, accidentally fell down on the floor and hit his head hard against linoleum. After, partially regaining consciousness, he attempted to put up a status on Facebook reading “I neet he kl p m==#]Please /fc” ‘ff: ‘ 933,91++”. After reading his incoherent status, his friends sitting in 6 different states co-ordinated with each other and arranged an ambulance for his rescue.
12. This 10-year-old girl uploaded a short video on Facebook, pleading for help for her father who was trapped under a fallen tree during storm. Her plea was answered immediately.
During a thunderstorm, on 12 June 2014, Gregory and two of his friends were trapped under a tree struck down by the storm. His 10-year-old daughter Brianna wanted to help her father and uploaded a video on Facebook saying, “The lightning crashed and hit a tree by our porch and my dad’s almost dead. He needs an ambulance please. Please call one for us if you have a signal. We live in a yellow house.” Rescue officials immediately arrived at the spot and helped them.