24 September 2012
SOCIAL NETWORKING: JOURNEY TO FINDING MY SISTER
Reconnecting with lost friends and family and keeping up with current friends and family is the main reason people use different types of social networking according to a study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, April 26th-May 22nd, 2011.
Let me give you a little history about some circumstances that lead me to using social networking to connect with a lost relative... This is also my personal experience. I met my half sister originally in 2004 when I was 10 and she was 12. At that time I only knew her name was Latessa. We shared a biological father but not the same last name. I did not even know she existed until that time. I was only able to see her for a day because her biological mother would not allow any more contact and they lived in Western Oklahoma.
I keep asking my paternal grandmother and my Dad over the next year if they had any knowledge of her and they did not other than to give me her last name-Shores. In 2005, our Dad died suddenly from a heart attack. My first social networking was MySpace.com and then Facebook. It did not occur to me for several years to look up my half sister because she was adopted because her mother died within a week of our Dad passing and I did not know her adopted last name.
An article entitled, “Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society” states that 43% of users are between the ages of 18-21. This put my half sister, Latessa and I in that category. I noticed that people were always finding old friends. On January 24, 2011, I thought I would take a chance and do a search on her first name and her last name before she was adopted. Only one person’s profile came up and I saw the picture she resembled me. I used the private message feature to ask her this initial question. “Hi, I know this is weird but I am trying to find my half sister and I’m wondering if you were her. What is your Dad’s name” She replied with my Dad’s name and I relied back “Sweet, so you are my half sister” She replied, “WOW this is crazy, I have been trying to find you forever” The reason I put this in quotes is that I still have it saved in my Facebook messages. So social networking not only connects, but documents everything…even awesome memories.
“Social networking sites allow for