Twitter gets the blame for a lot of bad things, but for Dave Cormier and Bonnie Stewart of Prince Edward Island, it is a real lifesaver.
The couple was hiking with their toddler when she ate some unidentifiable berries. The couple took a photo with their cell phone and did some research into what the berries were, but were unable to find them on their own.
"Even with the picture, sometimes, it's hard to scroll through and find a positive identification," Stewart said.
Poison control was also unable to help them, so they posted a photo to Twitter (Cormier has 3,000 followers) and a few minutes later, they had their answer: the berries were poisonous.
They called 9-1-1 and their daughter recovered without treatment. Still, it makes social media seem pretty powerful, no?
Parents who use social media often get blamed for everything that happens to their child.
Last year, mommy blogger Shellie Ross of Florida was taken to task after her tweets moments before her son drowned in the family's pool showed that she was not immediately with the 2-year-old.
Critics said if she had not been twittering, her son may not have died. There are also less egregious cases where parents are blamed for neglecting their children so they can chat on Facebook or blog or e-mail with their friends. But this kind of story shows the power of social networking.
For many parents, it has become a lifeline, a place where they can chat about the trials and tribulations of parenthood and share triumphs and commiserations. Neglecting your child so you can flirt on Facebook is wrong, but using social media to expand your "village" and help you be a better parent seems like a pretty amazing thing.
Does social media help you in parenting?
Image via Phil Sellens/Flickr