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Connecting Over the Internet

Photo by Josh Kenzer via Flickr.com
Photo by Josh Kenzer via Flickr.com
Photo by Josh Kenzer via Flickr.com

People often hear about individuals losing all of their time to the Internet. The screen captivates their attention for hours at a time with social media, gaming, and online television. However, there are some benefits to spending some of your time on the Internet.

Recently, Katheryn Deprill, 27, used the Internet in a very positive way. Dubbed the Burger King Baby, Deprill, who was left in a Burger King bathroom when she was just hours old, was able to be reunited with her biological mother.

Deprill had wanted to find more information about her biological family and turned to Facebook for a lead. She posted a photo of herself holding a sign that explained her story on her Facebook page, and three weeks later, after being shared more than 30,000 times, was able to meet her mother.

Many people just like Deprill have searched and found their biological family members, classmates from high school, and childhood friends from their hometowns. They have used Facebook as a search engine to narrow down the over 500 million people registered on the site and continue to connect with each other across great distances from the comforts of their homes online. And even in the wake of tragedy people have received news and used social media to find missing loved ones.

After the bombing that occurred at the Boston Marathon last year, chaos ensued with people, who were at home and not at the marathon, trying to find out if their loved ones were okay. However, heavy cellphone usage congested the system causing delays, and those trying to get in contact with each other were advised just to text since it used less bandwidth.

Marathon runner, Sara Bozorg and her boyfriend avoided the cellphone blockage, went home and posted that she was OK on Facebook. Those following people near the marathon on Facebook and Twitter were able to get information about their friends and family right away, easing worry, and getting news before anyone else.

Social media especially has been used over the last few years to find lost loved ones, stay in touch with family members far away, and keep up with the daily news of their friends. And although there are several people in everyone’s group of Facebook friends that bug you about playing Farmville, Bejeweled, or what have you, we are still able to connect with that person, share tid-bits about what is going on your life with them, and keep in touch.