It was not long ago that we highlighted some stories of how people touch other lives through the use of the Internet and social media. Since then, a lot more depressing news has surfaced, whether it is the ongoing war in other parts of the world or the death of a beloved celebrity. Sometimes we even wonder if there’s any good news in this world left at all.
But of course there is. The magnitude of recent events may have overshadowed these stories or they might have simply not turned up on your radar. Whether it is a simple lost and found the story or even a life-saving one, we hope that this selection of 5 stories depicting Internet acts will hopefully brighten your day and restore your faith in humanity.
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1. Reddit’s Photoshopping skills
Nathen Steffel became a proud father to baby girl on May 30. His joy was short-lived as his daughter Sophia passed away 6 weeks later due to complications from a hepatic hemangioma, a live tumor in her liver.
Heartbroken and grieving, Nathen wanted a photo as a reminder of his daughter and her short life. However, all he had were pictures of Sophia in tubes tethering her to life.
Image source: Nathen Steffel
Enter Reddit, known for being a cesspool of photos, memes, and photoshopped images. Trying to seek respite for his grief, Nathen posted a plea to anyone in the Reddit community to help remove the tubes in Sophia’s photo. His post was met with an overwhelming amount of photos and drawings as well as messages from the Redditors.
Image source: ShareDots
Nathen and his wife were extremely touched and grateful by Reddit’s immense response. Thanking the Redditors, he replied:
“This is really amazing. Everyone you have made my day. All I wanted was a nice picture. What I received was a lot of love and support from a bunch of strangers.“
2. Found: Lobster Ring
It seems like an ordinary day at the beach for Jenn Birchim. She was strolling along Ellwood Beach, California when she stooped to pick up a bottle cap among the rocks. Only it wasn’t a bottle cap but a ring. Inspecting the ring, Birchim saw that the inside was inscribed with these words:
"My Love, My Life, My Lobster“
The unusual inscription peaked her attention and she wondered if the ring belonged to a fisherman. Jenn decided to reunite the ring with its rightful owner by posting on Facebook.
Image source: Jenn Birchim
As this is Facebook, it didn’t take too long for multiple shares and likes to reach an acquintance of the Lindsays. Sarah Lindsay’s co worker came upon the post and showed it to her. Sarah knew right away that it was the ring that her husband Greg lost 2 years ago on the same beach. Greg was upset when he lost it then, as both the ring and inscription was meaningful to him.
“One of the episodes (of Friends) was where they talk about Ross and Rachel being each other’s lobsters and I looked at her and said, ‘Hey you’re going to be my lobster.’ And that’s why she had it inscribed in there,” said Greg in an interview with KEYT.
Within 4 days, Jenn met up with the Lindsays and returned the ring to the happy couple. The return of the ring couldn’t come at a more opportune time as the Lindsays were expecting a child in August. Here’s a picture of the Lindsays with Jenn on the left.
Image source: Daily Mail
3. Accessing son’s look back video
Does anyone remember making a Look Back video for Facebook’s 10th Anniversary in February 2014? Everyone was creating and sharing theirs all over timeline while reminiscing on past events. It was what John Berlin did.
His Look Back video struck a chord in him as it brought up photos and memories of his son Jesse who passed away on January 28, 2012.
Missing his son, John tried to find a way to view Jesse’s video. John was unable to as Facebook only memorialized an account and does not divulge the dead person’s account password. John tried emailing the social network and tweeting to Mark Zuckerberg but was doubtful about receiving a response. He decided to appeal through a video message.
Within 24 hours, John’s tearful video garnered around 700,000+ views and successfully caught Facebook’s attention. Soon Facebook got in touch with John and granted his request. Mark Zuckerberg himself even called John personally to thank the grateful father for bringing it to Facebook’s attention.
In gratitude, John shared Jesse’s Look Back video with everyone saying, the following:
“First of all I just want to thank everyone for all the shares and support. We couldn’t have done this without you.“
4. Tumblr user prevents suicide
People can be cruel on social media with their comments and messages leading to adverse results in the recepient. Which was what happened to one unnamed girl from New Jersey when she received a slew of online hate messages on Tumblr. The messages took its toll and she posted her last post announcing her intention to end her life.
On the other side of the screen at California is 18-year-old Jackie Rosas. Jackie had seen how the messages had tormented the 16-year-old Tumblr user who also struggled with depression. As she read the girl’s suicidal post, Jackie’s first instinct is to seek help. She called the suicide hotline but she didn’t have the teen’s last name. So she called the police.
This lead to a chain of people racing against time to locate the girl. Jackie passed details of the girl that she knew – first name and blog URL – to a police officer who in turn contacted the local high school’s assistant principal on the offchance that the girl is a student.
Each contact lead to a dead end but whoever was contacted did their own sleuthing. They eventually found the girl’s Twitter account that has the same picture as her Tumblr blog.
That Twitter account proved useful when the police browsed through for information: a location and a last name. With the missing pieces at hand, the police were able to hand the information to the authorities from the correct district. They managed to find the girl who was unconscious after swallowing a bottle of pills. She was subsequently rushed to the hospital and the good news is, she survived the attempt.
5. Abducted baby brought back
This separate but no less chilling incident unfolded on May 26, 2014. A woman wearing a nurse outfit turned up at the Sainte-Marie Hospital in Montreal, Canada. Drawing no suspicion with her outfit, she walked straight into the maternity ward and carried a baby out who was wrapped in a blue blanket.
She however left the hospital along with the baby in a red car with a ‘Baby on Board’ sign.
Image source: La Presse
Mélissa McMahon suddenly had a bad feeling after a nurse came into her room, saying that she had to take her daughter Victoria for weighing. She checked with the hospital staff on the nurse before rushing to the entrance. She was distraught when she found out that she was too late. Soon the police were notified. Hospital staff and patients who saw the woman quickly provided details of the woman and her vehicle.
Four friends from Quebec were hanging out when they came across the alert on Facebook. Mélizanne Bergeron, her sister Sharelle, Marc-Andre Coté and Charlène Plante decided that they’ll try tracking down the woman with the description of her car. On closer inspection of the woman’s photo, Charlene realized that she recognized her old neighbour. She also knew where the suspect lives.
From left: Sharelle Bergeron, Marc-Andre Coté, Charlène Plante and Mélizanne Bergeron
Image source: National Post
Armed with this knowledge the four decided to drive to the woman’s home. Sure enough, her car was parked outside the house. They called the police. Within minutes, the woman was arrested and baby Victoria was returned safely to her parents Mélissa McMahon and Simon Boisclair.
Image source: Gawker
How Internet Acts Restore Faith In Humanity – Part IV
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