Two stories in the news recently about sons trying to do something nice for their fathers show both how powerful social media can be, and how quickly it can get out of control.
My Dad Is Sad
Billy By’s father used to run a donut shop. Then his mom got sick and his dad had to give up the business. Now Billy is grown and his mom is better. Billy’s dad decided to get back into the donut business again. Billy’s dad worked hard to set up his store and get everything ready and…no one came to buy donuts.
My dad is sad cause no one is coming to his new donut shop ? pic.twitter.com/y5aGB1Acrc
— Billy's Donuts (@BillysDonuts) March 9, 2019
Billy decided to encourage a few of his friends to stop by the shop to buy some donuts and cheer his father up. On Saturday, March 9, he created a post on the social media site Twitter saying, “My dad is sad cause no one is coming to his new donut shop.” Billy said that the store would be open on Sunday.
When Billy stopped by his father’s donut shop on Sunday, the line was so long that people were standing outside. Billy’s Twitter post got shared and re-shared so many times that it soon got bigger than he ever expected.
Just wanted to update yall! We completely sold out of donuts and kolaches! You are all amazing. I can't thank everyone enough for coming out and supporting local businesses. This means so much to my family ❤️ pic.twitter.com/o3GQcKvVnG
— Billy's Donuts (@BillysDonuts) March 10, 2019
By Sunday afternoon, 150,000 people had shared his post and the store sold out of donuts. By Monday, the number was 260,000, and Twitter bought free donuts for everyone who came in the store.
Business is so good now that Billy’s dad is no longer sad.
Wish My Dad Happy Birthday!
Christopher and Michael Ferry have a long history of playing jokes on their dad, Chris Ferry. Playing jokes on him is one of their ways of showing their love.
This year, Christopher got an idea that he thought of as “the ultimate prank” – the best joke ever. The two sons put a message on a billboard saying, “Wish My Dad Happy Birthday”. Below that message was their father’s phone number.
The sons thought that their father might get calls from local people who drove past the billboard. Almost as soon as the message went on the billboard, Mr. Ferry began getting texts and calls from strangers wishing him happy birthday. But that was just the beginning.
When his sons showed him the billboard, Mr. Ferry appreciated the joke. He took a selfie in front of it. Christopher posted Mr. Ferry’s selfie on Facebook. Soon Mr. Ferry, who turned 62 on Saturday, was getting calls and texts from around the world.
The sons think Mr. Ferry has gotten about 20,000 calls and thousands of texts. At first, Mr. Ferry tried to respond to all the people who were wishing him happy birthday, but he couldn’t keep up.
As news stations spread the word about the billboard, Mr. Ferry got even more messages – sometimes thousands of messages in just a few minutes. He could no longer use his phone.
The billboard is rented for a month, so it will stay up until April. But his sons have now given Mr. Ferry a second birthday present – a new phone number.