NEW YORK (PIX11) – From self-adulation to privacy issues – the world of social media sometimes gets a bad rap but when the technology is used correctly it can make reunions – once deemed inconceivable – reality.
Take the story of two Bosnian sisters, 88-year-old Tanija Delic and 82-year-old Hedija Talic. The two separated when their family fled at the start of World War II in 1941.
Both were reunited 72 years later when Talic’s son connected with with Delic’s daughter on Facebook.
We all know how it feels to lose something and when Catriona Bowman misplaced her SD memory card carrying 300 photos of her European backpacking adventure, she thought it was lost forever. It was, until a stranger found it and put together a slideshow using the photos, posting it to YouTube set to the music of rapper Eve’s hit single “Who’s that girl?”
The video soon went viral and the traveler was reunited with her memories.
In an extraordinary example of finding a needle in a haystack, a man who spent 25 years searching for his biological family found his way back home with the help of Google maps.
Saroo Brierley was separated from his family at an Indian train station when he was just five years old. Relying on just his photographic memory, Brierley managed to put the pieces together.
“I came across these train tracks and came across this train station,” he said in a heartwarming ad for Google. “[It] reflected the same images that were in my memories.”
Upon arriving to Calcutta, Google Maps led Brierley to the door steps of his biological mother.
Facebook came to the rescue of an elderly Illinois couple this past summer, who hit the road for a lunch date but ended up taking a few bad turns.
Vern and Elaine Schweisthal are dealing with early symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The couple was found and rescued after their savvy grandson launched a Facebook page, asking locals to be on the lookout. He told PIX11 News in a phone interview, Facebook saved their lives.
“It would have been a different outcome if it weren’t for people looking on to the Facebook page,” he said.
Another family praising the power of Facebook is Efrain Canales’ – who went missing after suffering a stroke while riding the D train last month.
After PIX11 web producer Ashley Edwards posted a photo of the then-unidentified Manhattan man on the PIX11 Facebook page, viewer Robert Ortiz saw it and quickly made the connection to a missing flier he saw posted in his neighborhood.
The selfless act brought a family back together and left one daughter incredibly grateful.