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Social Media Uses - Gone Too Far?

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Contributor:
David Silversmith
David Silversmith

There have been numerous articles about social media how you can used to stay in touch. Perhaps one of the best indications of the success of a  technology is to see how the technology is used differently from how it was initially intended.

Check out some of these unique ways that Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have been put to use.

Quit Your Job on Twitter
When you’re on your way out of a job, there’s a lot of fun ways to exit and certainly people visualize some pretty aggressive ways if they were unhappy in their job. Some people choose to take office supplies, some soon-to-depart employees show up to the last day in shorts, and others write their thoughts in email. And some like Sun Microsystem'ss former CEO Jonathan Schwartz tweet out a haiku. Here’s his tweet: "Today’s my last day at Sun. I’ll miss it. Seems only fitting to end on a #haiku. Financial crisis/Stalled too many customers/CEO no more."

Receive the worst of news on Facebook
While tweeting about quitting might be fun, hearing about the loss of a loved one certainly is not.  According to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, twins Angela and Maryanne Vourlis woke up on their 20th birthday and logged onto Facebook to check their walls and inboxes for birthday greetings.

But instead of finding happy birthday wishes, the twins found messages of “RIP Bobby” (their brother) all across their Facebook newsfeeds. They quickly rang their brother’s phone in the hopes that it was a mistake. It was to no avail.  After a call to the police, they confirmed what they had learned on Facebook: their brother was dead.  The real time social media proved to be faster than even the police or phone calls could.  Can you imagine hearing news this way?

Use Facebook to build memorials
Speaking of death, virtual memorials can also be found on the web as people have been paying their respects to departed loved ones on Facebook and Myspace for years. But a Facebook page set up for Henio Zytomirski, a 6-year-old Polish boy who was killed during the Holocaust, is truly revolutionizing the way we recount history and remember the dead. His profile is, in essence, a virtual museum. Henio was chosen because there were so many photos and letters available to draw from, which makes his profile a truly rich reading experience. Last summer, a group of people in created a Facebook profile for the boy, who was sent to the Majdanek death camp in 1942. According to the AP, the idea grew out of a group called Grodzka Gate-NN Teater, which uses the arts to remember victims of the Holocaust.

Governments use Twitter to share news
Credit has to go to the Los Angeles Fire Department for trying to reach out to the public using the available technology at their disposal. If you follow their updates you’ll receive regular updates of any fire alerts in the area.

People are stupid online too
Topping the list of idiotic things to share on Facebook, 18-year-old mother Rebecca Davey of Southend, Essex in the UK, posted a photo of her six-month-old son Ollie with an unlit cigarette in his month. The Daily Mail reports that the smoking baby photo alarmed a few online friends, who reported Davey to the local authorities. The Facebook photo, which was eventually removed (although later posted by the Daily Mail), prompted Essex police and social services to inquire about the well-being of the baby. They ultimately found that the child was not at risk - although one has to hope this family never home schools.

Don't forget Fido, he may be social too!
In its first-ever toy created for the canine community, Mattel is introducing a product called "Puppy Tweets" that meshes the hugely popular Twitter with consumers' love of pets.

Confess your sins, Water your plants and add your thoughts
If you did not like this article and have bad thoughts, then you can send in your confessions anonymously to Kosso. And in the final interesting application, you can use Twitter to make sure your plants get enough water. This set-up will let you know when your plants need water and it will even thank you later when you quench it’s thirst.  What other news will be found in social media in the future?  What are the most unusual social media uses you have come across?

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