Good Digital Parenting
Blog | Feb. 13, 2014

14 Ways People Showed Love Online This Year

Project Administrator, Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)

Can you feel the love? I can. 

I get to feel it every day. 

Every day I have the privilege of reading stories about people doing good things with technology – making a positive difference in the lives of friends, family members, and strangers with their devices. 

So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share a little of that love with you. To do that, I put together a list of 14 of my favorite feel-good (and do-good) technology stories from 2014. 

  1. 17-Year-Old Girl Uses Social Media to Dare Others to Be Different. Born with missing fingers, this teen uses the Internet to show the importance of being different and accepting each other’s differences. 
  2. Teens Help Senior Citizens Tackle Tough Technology. A group of high schoolers joined forces to teach older adults in their community how to use everything from mobiles and websites to email and social media. 
  3. Teachers Use Texting and Apps to Swipe Out High School Drop-Out Rates. It’s no secret that teens are fervent texters. Now, teachers are using that same technology to encourage learning and parental involvement, and discourage would-be dropouts. 
  4. Twins Separated at Birth Reunite Thanks to YouTube. Adopted as babies and raised on different continents, these two sisters never knew of each other… at least until a YouTube video brought them together. 
  5. 3D-Printed Hip Implant Helps Teenager Walk Again. A 15-year-old girl in Sweden thought she’d be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Now, thanks to 3D printing, she’s able to walk un-aided and do the things she used to love.
  6. Mom Uses Facebook to Make Son’s Birthday Wish Come True. Soon-to-be 11-year-old Colin has a disorder similar to autism that makes it difficult for him to socialize. When he told his mom he was worried no one would come to his birthday party, she took to Facebook. What she got was 1.2 million likes, thousands of comments, and even cards in the mail just for Colin. 
  7. Middle-Schooler Launches Viral Blog to Address Women’s Health and Safety Issues. When 13-year-old Jules Spector isn’t studying for a math test, she’s writing blogs that go viral. Her message? One day girls will change the world. 
  8. Teen Twitter Feed Goes Viral for All the Right Reasons. The wildly popular @HistoryinPics Twitter feed has almost 1.7 million followers and shares little bits of history through photographs. The best part? It’s run by two teenage boys. 
  9. A Little Boy’s Goal to Get One YouTube ‘Like’ Results in Thousands. In his first-ever YouTube video, Josh asked for just one ‘Like’. People around the world granted his wish – and then some – by giving him thousands of ‘Likes’ and follows on his channel. 
  10. Young People Collect Cell Phones to Help Survivors of Domestic Violence. Teens all over the United States gathered used cell phones to donate to survivors of domestic violence and raise awareness about the issue. 
  11. Wildly Popular Food Blog Promotes Self-Esteem and Positive Body Image. Bloggers are using the tech tools at their disposal to combat unhealthy habits and low self-esteem, and promote body positivity. 
  12. Photos of Little Kids and Cats Go Viral to Promote Literacy. Adorable photos of kids reading to cats at a local animal shelter took the world by storm. Now, people are using the photos to promote the importance of literacy and education. 
  13. #FindMike Twitter Campaign Helps Reunite One Man With a Good Samaritan. A stranger talked Jonny Benjamin out of a suicide attempt in 2008. In January of this year, he started a viral Twitter campaign to find him. (Spoiler alert: he found him!) 
  14. Internet Sleuths Unravel a Family's 20-Year-Old Mystery. In the final days of her life, Janna Holm’s grandmother wrote a cryptic last message. Within hours of putting it on Reddit, the Internet helped decipher her grandma’s last words. 

Help us spread the love even further by sharing these stories with the important people in your life or tell us about other technology stories that touched you in the comment section below. 

Cover image courtesty of Deviant Art.