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Social Media Acts As A Curse And A Blessing

Social media saves missing girl

After his daughter had disappeared with a convicted sex offender last week, Roger Lyon used social media as a last resort to try and bring her home. Lyon is now crediting technology and media for the rescue of his daughter, but he is also issuing a warning to other parents that social media can also work against them.

social media news
Source: mashable.com

His daughter went missing with Steven Myers, who had already been convicted for sex offences, and social media helped an employee recognise Ashley and Myers at a truck stop outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In a press conference held on Thursday, Lyon showed gratitude towards the general public for their help, but he warned parents about the negative impact that technology can have. He said, “you can trust your teenage children, but they are always going to be one step ahead when it comes to technology.” He went on to add, “there are more things I learned in the past week about what you can do with iPod, with a cellphone, how you can disguise things, how you can do things on social media. You need to get in there and you need to verify.”

In the aftermath of Ashley going missing, Lyon was able to pull mobile phone records showing roughly around 2,000 texts between his 16-year-old daughter and Myers. He then used social media to his advantage by creating the “Help Find Ashley Lyon” page. In addition to this he used the hashtag #FindAshley to keep the story alive.

“You saw something, you said something, and that’s what brought it to a conclusion,” he said.

The person who identified both Ashley and Myers was a cashier at a truck stop, and she recognised Ashley due to the social media coverage the story was receiving. She immediately phoned the emergency services and drama ensued.

social media news
Source: jdhancock.com

After a dramatic 40-mile car chase, police officers arrested 41-year-old Myers, but they couldn't help Ashley from being stabbed 10 times in the process. Thankfully she is still alive, and currently recovering.

“My main concern is healing my daughter and making my family whole again,” said Lyon. He expressed his love for the power that social media can have also, “Mark Zuckerberg, I love you man, for creating Facebook.”

Despite his outpouring of love for Zuckerberg, he urged parents to be more vigilant than he was.

This is a story that will live long in the memory, as it is an embodiment of the possibilities that social media offers. It gives a platform for people to communicate freely, although you cannot be sure what their intentions are, and this lead to Ashley being whisked away by a convicted sex offender. Without the power of social media though, the family of Ashley would still be searching, and each day the likelihood of her ever coming home would have been decreasing.

Social media has so much power to influence, and society should not underestimate that.

Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

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Social Media Acts As A Curse And A Blessing Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, June 23, 2014 Rating: 5
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