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Sooooo….You Think Social Media is Stupid? Think Again.

When people I meet ask me what I do for a living, I get a lot of the same responses:

“Twitter is so dumb. Who cares what you had for breakfast??!!”

“Facebook is just Farmville.”

Because I’m so passionate about Social Media, and how much it’s changed my life, I can’t help but comment. You see, both Facebook and Twitter have made such huge impacts on my life, I’m, well, I’m without a kidney and have a sister I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years.

Three and a half years ago, the day after the 2009 SuperBowl, I logged into Facebook and had a new message notification.

“If this is you, message me back.”

It was from my half sister, Cheryl. My father had gotten a girl pregnant in the 1960s. He did “the right thing” by marrying her, and they had a daughter. Their marriage didn’t last long and, a few years later, he met and married my mother. Cheryl was around the first few years of my life, but then her mother got remarried and her new dad wanted to adopt her, so my father gave permission. My mother never let us forget Cheryl. I met her once when I was 19. We tried keeping in touch, but it just didn’t work. While our father was dying, I kept missing her in the hospital. She left behind some pictures, and I kept trying to see myself in her facial features.

When I got that message, I cried. There was never any sort of falling out or anything between her and me. It just didn’t happen. Her sisters had just shown her Facebook during the Super Bowl, and I was the first person she searched for.

Facebook changed my life.

And then there’s my baby. Twitter. I love Twitter. I’ve met some great people and been made aware of a lot of cool things in Phoenix because of Twitter. And then, one night in January of 2011, I saw a tweet that would change my life.

I had been following another girl from Phoenix. We had a lot of mutual friends and had met at a dinner party several months before. Her mom had kidney disease, and she had sent out a tweet that her mother, TinyMom, had finally agreed to be put on the organ donation list.

“I’ll do it. I’ll donate my kidney. What do I have to do?” That was my tweet. I knew nothing of donating a kidney. We talked on the phone a little later that night and I finally Googled it. The process didn’t seem hard at all, so I signed up with the donor network.

On April 19, 2011, I donated my right kidney to TinyMom. While I was in the hospital, I got visitors. Some of them I hadn’t met before, but they followed me on Twitter. Of course, I would have loved to be having my hair done and full make-up, but I knew it really didn’t matter a bit what I looked like. The day after I got out of the hospital, a restaurant that had been following me – and our story – brought me 6 pints of their own soups. I had never eaten there before.

Now, I am making a documentary about my kidney donation and everything I went through. I lost my job, but a follower hired me. I’ve met other donors via Social Media, and my film will show me driving cross-country to meet these donors, who I’ve never met, but I know them better than some of the “real” people I know.

Yeah. Social Media is stupid.

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Comments on this Article: 7

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  1. Daniel says:

    It’s not so much Social Media being stupid. It’s what people place on it. Some people have real lifes, sharing it in a way being a pleasure reading about. The stupid part comes from people sharing toilet habits and what they are doing every waking minute.
    I’m actually glad that you have had good and meningfull experiences with the social networks. I however have had to many bad ones. Now I just keep myself updated on News and skips everything else between.
    English not native so sorry for any spelling and grammar.

  2. Amy Donohue says:

    Daniel, you can unfollow the people whose tweets you don’t like!

  3. Martha Plunkett says:

    My son recieved a kidney from a living donor Aug. 21, 2012. We did not even know this young lady who lives 500 miles from us but who was willing to travel to donate to my son. We made the conection with her through a facebook posting by one of my sisters who at one time lived in the same city as the donor but does not anymore. The donor’s mother and my sister had kept in touch with each other over the years so when the donor found out about my son she offered one of her kidney’s with out any hesitation. Everything is going real good for both of them at this time.

  4. Amy Donohue says:

    So glad to hear it, Martha! It definitely changed my life!

  5. Noonie says:

    I wrote an article about why social media marketing is stupid. I think I make valid arguments. http://strangelysocial.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/why-social-media-marketing-is-stupid/

  6. Amy Donohue says:

    Noonie obviously didn’t read my blog, just chose to troll it.

    • Noonie says:

      Amy,

      First off, I am very sorry for commenting on your blog the way I did. It was very immature and showed some tactless marketing strategies. I would be the first to admit that I am young and brash. This is the first week of my blog, so I desperately wanted to get the word out about my post. In hindsight, I should have read your blog post beforehand. I just assume it was relevant by looking at the title. I had no idea it was such a heart warming story. I am sorry. After reading your comment on my wall, I immediately went to read your post. To say the least, I felt bad. My heart sank. I started this blog for fun, so it was a terrible realization to find out that I offended someone.

      What you did for TinyMom was yet another testament that humans are still good. I commend you for having a big heart and for being that courageous. What still gets me is: It didn’t matter to you that she was a stranger. Man, that’s heroic.

      Don’t get me wrong. I love Social Media. Heck, we are communicating via Social Media as we speak. I understand that Social Media has positively changed the world. Recently, a few friends of mine were able to find a bone marrow donor for their friend by using Facebook and various other Social Media outlets. Although they were able to find a match and the procedure was successful, she still passed away shortly after.

      http://www.channelapa.com/2012/09/janet-liang-passes-away.html

      Even beyond the benefits of reaching out to aid humanity, people in the Middle East used Facebook as the primary means of communication when organizing their political movements and revolts. It’s amazing what Social Media has done to change the world.

      I love Social Media. I hate Social Media MARKETING. I feel they are evil. Although my “spam” comment didn’t leave much for my credibility, I do hate the evil side of marketing and what these businesses have done by monetizing Social Media.

      Please don’t hate me. You have made me aware of the potential dangers of randomly sending a link on people’s walls. As a blogger myself, I get very excited when I see comments. It must be terribly frustrating to get a comment that shows little interest in what the post has said. I won’t do that again. I promise.

      I do hope your documentary goes well. It sounds quite intriguing. I wish you well, and try not to donate too many things–there are limited amounts of stuff on your body. However, your heart seems to be big enough for several people. You are genuinely a good person.

      Best,

      Noonie

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