Wednesday, 13 November 2013

It's not all bad...

A lot of the time when you hear people talking about Social Media - Twitter, Facebook etc - it's the negative stuff you hear. Twitter is "just about people saying they are on the bus, or what they're having for dinner" while Facebook "encourages users to replace words to describe emotions, with emoticons". Back in August an Economist Online article said "Past investigations have found that using Facebook is associated with jealousy, social tension, isolation and depression." and there are any number of similar articles out there on the net. On Saturday though, a different side of social media was seen by many...

Source: BBC News Website
This is Harold Jellicoe Percival - a former RAF Serviceman who during World War II served on Groundcrew with 617 Squadron maintaining the Lancaster bombers that were used on the famous "Dambusters" raid. He died recently, and the Funeral Directors looking after his funeral - which was set for, rather appropriately, 11am on Monday morning - were concerned that as he had no family that they were aware of, there would be nobody to attend the funeral. As a result they placed an advert in the local press asking for Service personnel to attend.


By Saturday morning, the story was doing the rounds on Twitter...




...and by the middle of the day it had been picked up on FaceBook also - by several celebrities including Jason Manford - and with over 482,000 "likes" on his Facebook page, this is always going to get to people's attention even faster.

On Monday morning it is believed that anything up to 1,000 people attended the funeral service at Lytham Crematoriam. RAF Scampton, "Coe's" wartime base, was represented, as was the RAF Association. As well as military veterans and current serving personnel, many ordinary members of the public also attended.

If you need something to restore your faith in the power for good of Social media, then this is surely it?


Robyn        

** In Memory of Harold Jellicoe Percival **
1914 - 2013


6 comments:

Marksgran said...

I agree with you. social media gets such a bad press, and some of it is indeed correct, but people forget the good things and it is a brilliant way to get information out there instantly, such as when people or animals are missing etc. I'm on facebook but not twitter and feel I get much more information from the facebook pages of companies I 'like' than from their website, etc. I'm glad they got lots of people to attend the old mans funeral, its such a shame some people have no-one isn't it.

Scarlet said...

The story was well covered on our local news.It seems that Mr Percival did have some family, who were there, but I found it rather telling that one of them said ' We were always going to attend' when he was spoken to by the reporter.

Robyn said...

I think people forget that you can use Social Media in a way that suits you Marksgran - for example so many people link their Twitter and FB accounts, which then means if they are having a bad day and pop on Twitter "Rotten day here today, just want to cry" by the time they log into FB some hours later, they've moved on, and may be feeling quite cheerful, then get dragged down again by a torrent of peoples replies to their earlier status which was only ever intended to be a letting-off-steam throwaway comment!
Scarlet - I spotted that comment, I think it was from the Great nephew - too - did wonder if that was the case why it seemed that both the Funeral Director and the Care home were seemingly completely unaware of their existence! Value your relatives in life, don't feel guilty about not doing so after their deaths!

Wendy said...

I think there are always going to be good and bad things about social media. It's inevitable. But I do think it was wonderful that so many people cared about Harold Percival, even though they had never met him and I agree - this does show the best of social media.

alifetimeofdiy said...

This story really warmed my heart. It is a lovely reminder that people can work together for good too. I was so pleased this war hero got the send off he deserved.

Robyn said...

It was just wonderful to watch such a fantastic good-news story unfold over the weekend wasn't it!