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Theworst thing about writing a column for Saturday’s Border Mail is you often get beaten to the punch.
Nanjing Night Net

And so it was this week with yesterday’s editorial, which lauded the use of social media.

It was in relation to the finding oflost childBen Dean.

It was a particularly worrying time for his family, andfor the whole community, which rose to the occasion.

Not only did Facebook play a role in finding Ben,but the family would have gained some comfort from the upwelling of support for them.

Without wanting to be a simpering sycophant, I have to say the editorial was right on the money.Sure, there are some creeps who use social media to do all sorts of sick things.But as the editorial points out, the good outweighs the bad.

I always wonder about people who bag social media without ever using it.

One criticism is they “don’t want to know what somebody had for breakfast and all that other rubbish”.Or that social media is ruining relationships between people and you should just ring people up rather than sending some sort of text message.

Why?I have more than850 “friends” on Facebook, and it is because of that social media tool I have been able to track down people I have not seen for years and start up a relationship with them.

And how would I know when all of their birthdays were, or the good or bad things that were happening in their lives and be able to send them a message.

That is before you even get to group pages that help different organisations advertise what they are doing and it doesn’t cost them a cent.

The same goes for Linked In, Instagram and all the rest.

When I was a journalist, Twitter was invaluable as it let me know about news as it was happening and helped me address the issues that were raised in it.

The bottom line is that social media does not damage personal communications –it enhances them enormously.

A recent experience – although nowhere as serious as the disappearance of young Ben – highlighted to me just how valuable social media is.

Our hound, Barbara, escapedfrom home last week,but we did not realise that until early the next morning.

The Lioness and I spent most of Saturday driving around South Albury looking for her, as did many of our friends.

It was a bit of a worry because she is more than17yearsold and has no hearing at all.And absolutely no road sense.

It was gut-wrenching, because she has played a huge part in our family’s life.

And, becauseshe has gone on that many adventures before, we reckoned she had used up all of her nine lives.

I know that’s supposed to onlyrelateto cats,but I reckon it applies to canines also.

This is where Facebook comes into it.

The Princes Legend immediately posted a photo of our hound, with a comment attached.

It ended up having 140 shares and messages of support started flooding in.

Unbeknown to us, the Albury pound posts pictures of animals that have been handed in by rangers and others.

A heap of people saw the post and then immediately posted the news as to where Barbara was.Situation sorted.

So,if you are not using social media I reckon you are missing a big opportunity.

And you’re in serious danger of being left way behind the rest of us.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


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