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Power of social media slowly turning this skeptic into a believer

Social Media blog photoI was a skeptic – and on any given day I can still feel that way.

About three years ago I created a Facebook profile on a snowy Saturday morning with the reluctant help of my teenaged son – he knew what my ulterior motive was – I was nosy– and he was right!

I started out as a ’stalker’ – especially when it came to my kids and their friends. I didn’t say much then, and still don’t. I ’like’ posts, especially when it comes to news about friends, their kids or pets or anytime there is good stuff shared about the Philadelphia Eagles.

I continue to find it interesting to see what people think others care about. At times I am horrified and other times mystified.  When adults post childish rants or use it as a platform to brag, I wish there was a delete button, and just like dinner conversation – politics and religion should stay “’off the table.’

However, over the past year and a half, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the positive power that Facebook can have – I saw my husband re-connect with his past; I witnessed it help a friend in need and most recently, I saw food banks in communities throughout Susquehanna’s footprint benefit.

On Nov. 1,  Susquehanna launched the Million Meal Mission campaign to benefit nine food banks and used  Facebook as one of the means to help spread the word.

For each ‘like,’ ’share’ or comment on its Stellar Deed of the Day posted on Facebook, Susquehanna donated five meals to area food banks. A Stellar Deed could be anything from offering to help a busy family member wrap gifts to sharing a treat with coworkers to donating blood to helping a neighbor shovel a sidewalk.

Susquehanna Bank’s Stellar Deeds were liked and shared more than 13,000 times on Facebook during the campaign, and Susquehanna nearly tripled its amount of Facebook fans since the campaign began.

Together, the social media effort combined with a donation of 25 meals per new checking account opened in November and December resulted in more than 361,000 meal contributions to regional food banks.

To read more about the campaign, you can read the story that appeared in The Baltimore Sun.

About a year and a half ago, my husband used Facebook to re-connect with “’kids’” he worked with for three summers during the late 70s at an old New England inn. The group members, who are now scattered all across the U.S., had such a great time sharing stories and posting old photos on Facebook  that they decided to hold a reunion at the inn where it all began.

What an awesome weekend! To see those ’kids’ pick up where they left off when they were all young, tan and without a care in the world, probably never would have happened without the power Facebook.

We all had such a great time, that we are looking forward to the 2015 reunion with his old and my new friends!

Finally, about a month ago, I received a notification on Facebook from a group  I had no idea that I belonged to (I found out it was members of my high school class.). One of my former classmates was in need. “Mike” (not his real name) is disabled and lives on a limited income. Both his parents are deceased and his only family is two cats, which he was struggling to afford. Two classmates sprang into action. They posted the plea in the group, and people responded. Within a week $500 was collected to help defray the cost of food, flea treatment and veterinary care. Just as “Mike” couldn’t imagine his life without his two buddies, I can’t imagine how we would have successfully gotten the word out and raised money so quickly without the power of Facebook!

My skepticism is definitely on the decline – no doubt. There are people who say things they shouldn’t, but to see this media truly make a positive difference in the lives of others, that’s power!

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Posted in In the Community, Million Meal Mission, Social Media, Technology.

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