Social Media & Sentimentality

Social media has become a platform that goes much farther than the simple exchange of information, photos, and laughs. Social media is becoming personal and sentimental, which results in incredible charity. It has been astounding to witness how much emotional and financial support individuals with heart-wrenching stories receive, purely through social media and the world wide web.

Karen Klein, a bus monitor, was bullied by four school-aged boys during an after-school bus ride. They hurled insult after insult, using language that shocked all those who watched the 10-minute YouTube video that was uploaded by one of the boys. This video was followed up by many YouTube responses with reactions of disgust and appall, directed at the boys who bullied Klein. Max Sidorov started a campaign on Indiegogo.com and raised $600,000 for Klein, enough for her to retire happily.

Jake Villanueva was diagnosed with kidney cancer at 23-years-old, turning to Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” feature to gain insight from others’ who may have experience with his situation. Lindsay Minar started an online fund for Villanueva; she was one of the many online users who offered encouraging words and advice for Villanueva, who believed that he would only live six months longer. Within 24 hours, Reddit users raised $30,000 for Villanueva, allowing him to travel the world with his family. It has been over a year since Villanueva has been diagnosed with terminal kidney cancer, and he plans to use the remainder of the money towards future cancer treatments.

Today (July 5) a three-year-old girl named Emily Stone had heart surgery, which was broadcasted through social media for the whole world to see. Emily Stone was born without the heart chamber that pumps blood to the lungs, a condition that makes it difficult for children to live past their teenage years. Every 10 minutes, during the surgery, the hospital’s social media team posted a new image of the procedure. Updates were made on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Approximately 2,600 visitors visited the Facebook page every hour and a video will be uploaded on YouTube within the next month. The hospital hopes to increase medical education, awareness, and inspiration through streaming surgery in the future.

These three individuals have had a happy ending to a dark situation. Human sympathy is not something to underestimate. And with the new age of internet communication, the possibilities to express sympathy and support are endless. Let these stories be inspiration for you to express and raise money for your own personal causes.

Author: Patricia Pham, TheLoop Global Marketing Team

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