Two stories that prove constant connectivity through social media is not all bad
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/28/2012 -- The world is inundated like never before with the constant stream of Facebook updates, Instagram posts of food and the random tree in a field, as well as a line of tweets that one can only hope to ignore long enough to actually have a real life. Given this submersion in online and electronic data, it may seem odd to be thankful for the always-present eye of social media.
That is exactly what has happened, as the 140 characters has been life-enhancing, and many are grateful for having a quick and effective way of staying connected to the world.
Chris Hodgson, who owns a restaurant in Cleveland, was able to recover a stolen food truck in October when he put up a digital APB on his Twitter.
"I sent out one tweet and said, 'Food truck thief, I'm gonna find you! If anyone sees the truck, please let us know.' Within about 30 minutes, we had one of our fans e-mail a picture of it and told us where he had seen it."
Hodgson added that his business has been able to boom due to the 11,000 Twitter followers, as they are capable of following his food trucks wherever they go.
"In Cleveland, it wasn't a big foodie scene, there's not a lot of other trucks, and so there really was no way to spread the word about who we were other than Twitter and keep people posted on our location," Hodgson says. "Twitter became our lifeline to start our business and really, really I give Twitter and Facebook credit for launching your career into food trucks, and now we have seven restaurants and a catering company in just a very short amount of time."
Twitter has also been handy in Alexandria, VA.-based in accessibility analyst Cathering McNally, who found herself incapable of engaging in a Town Hall Meeting at the White House last year, due to the fact she is hearing-impaired.
McNally has a cochlear implants, but due to background noise and the difficulty of reading President Obama’s lips, she found herself in the moment, but felt as if she also was not fully a part of it.
"I remember feeling left out and thinking, 'Man, this stinks! I'm deaf and I can't understand what he's saying and this is such a cool experience, but I don't know what's going on,'" she says.
But by following the event-specific hash tag on her Twitter, McNally was able to rejoin and fully follow the conversation.
"I would see a tweet about one point that (Obama) would make, and I would look that up and I would be able to catch up to what he was saying and then continue the conversation," McNally says. "If I missed something, I'd look back at the feed, and so in some ways, it became my personal captioning device. I didn't need to ask the person next to me for reiteration, which can be kind of intrusive."
These stories of goodness stemming from the actions of regular people on Twitter is not lost on the people at Twitter. Rachel Horowitz, senior editor to the site, says that the stories like Hodgson and McNally are cause for those at Twitter to feel “pretty humbled”.
What is so special about (Twitter) is the way that it removes historical barriers around communication and gives voice to people and things that have never happened before. When you remove those barriers, anything can happen and we see really amazing things happen all the time, whether it's entire political movements abroad or one stranger helping another stranger," Horowitz says. "You never know what every day will bring when people around the globe are able to connect in real time and have a voice in a way that they didn't before."
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