After our post about websites such as Facebook and Twitter being useful to communities we have been looking into other uses they have had around the world. It turns out there has been quite a few incredible and… unorthodox uses for our favourite web apps. Here are five of the best;
A couple of years ago in a Japanese shopping centre bathroom a businessman discovered he had no toilet paper in his cubicle after doing his… uh… business. He desperately posted on twitter that he needed help. Amazingly one of his followers was nearby and brought some toilet paper straight to him!
A young man named Rodney Bradford was charged for robbery however his Facebook was used as an alibi. At the same time of the robbery he had posted “Where’s my pancakes?” on Facebook from his father’s home. When this evidence was shown to the judge, the charges were immediately dropped.
A couple, in their early 20’s from America, were holidaying in the Bahamas and posted a picture of themselves eating an iguana which they caught and prepared. They were later arrested for killing the lizard, an animal on the endangered species list.
Web designer Patrick Johnson woke up one day to discover half of his face was numb and droopy. To his 347 followers he tweeted, “I feel like I’ve had a stroke. Half of my face doesn’t work properly.” He soon received a reply from business manager Marj Beattie; “If you are truly serious, get to the doc – Bell’s palsy facial symptoms mimic a stroke.” He took her advice and went to hospital immediately. Her diagnosis was correct and saved his face from long term damage.
British Blogger Paul Smith started the Twitchhiker project in 2009. His goal: travel as far around the world as possible in 30 days using only twitter and not paying for accommodation or travel. If he was stranded anywhere for more than 48 hours he would have to finish the journey. He used the entire 30 days thanks to his twitter followers and ended up travelling from the UK to parts of Europe, across America and then all the way to Stewart island at the south of New Zealand. The entire thing also helped raise money for the charity, “Water”, who received five thousand pounds when he finished.
So there are a few amazing stories that have happened thanks to social media! I’m sure there are many more though. What’s your social media story and do you think you could ever do something as cool as Paul Smith?