The Power of Social Media: Helping to Save a Life

Almost everyone has social media. Whether it’s facebook, twitter, pinterest, tumblr, or any combination of these, you know you can share your thoughts and feelings whenever and with whoever you want. You can keep in contact with friends in different countries, ask celebrities questions, share your favorite videos and pictures, and an infinite amount of other things that social media sites can provide. Having social media gives you power to express your ideas and influence others, sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse.

One example of how social media can be a powerful medium for a good cause is through my friend Taylor. Taylor, a friend of mine and the girlfriend to one of my closest friends, was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer at the young age of 19. This tragic news has hit her family and her friends pretty hard, but luckily she soon had a ton of support. A few days after the diagnosis, Taylor’s boyfriend and another friend set up a “gofundme” account. This is a website where you can set up a page explaining your situation and receive donations for a cause of your choice, this being helping out with the medical and living expenses for Taylor and her family. Within hours donations began flying in. The goal for her was set at $5,000, and that was surpassed in just four and a half hours! People began sharing the “gofundme” page via facebook shares and tweets, the more it was shared, the more donations rose.

Her page was shared a total of 999 times through social media, and eventually received a total of $13,625 between 230 generous people who saw the posts and tweets, all in only one month! More and more donations came in daily, ranging from $5 to $250, including my own grandmother who lives in Florida and has never even heard of Taylor in her life until she saw my facebook post. Her family even shut off donations after the first month because they received so much help.

The reason Taylor has a huge head start on beating her cancer is because a community came together to help support someone in need. All this became possible through the power of social media, and I hope social media will continue to help others again and again.

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