Facebook is a sharp knife with a dual-sided blade. On one side, it’s a great way to connect, advertise, and share important information. Flip it over and you have ignorance being shared with fictional news accounts, which people take and spread as real, over-dramatic headlines and bullies hiding behind a computer monitor. However, even with all of that, I choose to see the good that can come from sharing Facebook posts.
We’ve all seen them. Posts of missing dogs and even children. There was one where a senior citizen went missing in a neighborhood after going for a walk. The call soon went out, the posts shared, and the grandfather found and reunited with his family.
Recently, we experienced the power of sharing a picture on Facebook for positive results. The other morning as we were cleaning up and preparing for the 11-year-old’s birthday party, Sarah came running in, yelling there was a giant turtle in the backyard. I called out to Char and soon we were all heading to the back porch, even the cat. Of course, the cat was licking his lips. In my head, I’ll be honest, I thought Sarah was slightly exaggerating. She wasn’t. This tortoise, gopher turtle, box turtle, this whatever it was, was fricking huge. He weighed fifty pounds!
“How did he get in?”
It was then I noticed three planks of our privacy fence completely tore apart at the bottom. Luckily, the front fence is a heavy plastic and he was blocked from making any further escape or causing any more damage. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about the fence.
I took a few pictures of the tortoise and posted one on Facebook with the caption, “So this guy just wandered into our backyard. #Floridalife.” Afterwards, the girls and I tried to figure out what to do with it. We didn’t exactly think it was safe for the creature to just open the gate and let him run…crawl…away free. Not everyone is paying attention to where they’re driving. So, do we call Animal Control? Animal Rescue? The Pound? While we were trying to decide, Sarah fed the creature some lettuce and chopped up melon, which it devoured like a teenager.
As soon as the picture was posted, however, someone commented on my post that someone was looking for that turtle. We kind of assumed it belonged to someone because his back was a nice pink design, like a young kid’s art project. So, we said for them to reach out to whoever had made the post. We had their turtle. Others commented with the link of someone who had also posted the family’s plea for a return of their slow, but heavy pet. At this point, I searched Facebook for Satellite Beach and missing tortoise, and the original post of the family popped onto my screen. Fantastic! I sent a Facebook message and waited.
With all of Facebook’s new programing, if you’re not friends with the person, sometimes a message will slip into their “Other” folder and they will never see it. I feared this is what happened here. Now, how do I make sure they see my message?
I went back to the original post and scanned the comments. There was a mention of the street where this family lived, which happened to be behind us. So, I hopped in the car and went searching for a family screaming out for its runaway turtle.
I didn’t find them at first, but I did find a family who pointed me in the right direction––to the house diagonally behind ours. However, when I approached one of the sons, he informed me they already had found their turtle. He was hiding in a hole in their backyard. Great. Now what was I to do with a fifty pound turtle? I’m not a big soup eater.
“Can I still speak to your father?”
When the father came out, I showed him the picture I took of the turtle trying to make the great escape from our yard. “This isn’t your turtle?”
“Yes, he is. We found him yesterday.” Apparently, when they made the post that he was missing, the turtle had buried himself in their backyard. They had found him later that evening.
“Well, he’s in my backyard today.” A quick trip was made to their backyard and the hole the turtle had made to escape was discovered. This family didn’t even know Turbo was missing.
They followed me back to my house and retrieved their family pet. They even patched the fence to prevent further escapes.
This reunion was brought about because they shared their original loss on Facebook and thought it would be fun to share the visitor we had that morning. Others saw it and soon Char and I were talking to people we had never met before trying to find this family. People cared and Facebook was the message board that everyone was reading and sharing on that deprived our cat of its snack, a snack that would have fed him for a couple of years.
Sharing things on Facebook works. People see it, share it, and then others see it and share it, and soon pets are reunited with their owners, kids are found and readers find new authors they love. (I bet you were wondering where that twist was coming in.) I share things my friends share, whether selling something or looking for a unique item. I pass these items along, so that those searching for them may find them, even if they don’t know they’re looking. Don’t ignore that missing child report or the lost pet. Miracles can happen, but they won’t if you ignore your part in helping.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Until next time, keep chasing your dreams!