Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Man Who Disappeared and Sparked a Social Media Campaign Simply Left On His Own

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM


If you were on Twitter last Monday and Tuesday, you probably saw a few tweets filter through your timeline with a #finddan hashtag. That was in reference to Dan Stasiewski, a 29-year-old who went to lunch on Monday and didn't return. His boss reported him missing. His apartment was unlocked. He wasn't answering his phone.

Friends quickly mobilized via social media, spreading the word that their dear, dear friend couldn't be found. Twitter is great for things like that, as well as jokes, cute dog pictures, breaking news, and other socially conscious messages all boiled down to a simple hashtag. For instance: #findusaturkeysandwich. Let's get that going this afternoon.

Cleveland police got on the case, and eventually did in fact find Dan. Safe and sound. In Sandusky. With a friend. No abduction, no harm, no foul play — he just dipped.

No explanation has been forthcoming on why he pulled the Houdini act in the middle of a Monday, nor why he did so without notifying anyone where he was going. While we fully support the inner vagabond that looks at the car every day with half a notion to take off and cut the cord for an afternoon drive with nary a word or warning to friends or family, police poured resources into finding Dan, and he clearly caused more than a spot of distress to those close to him. In many ways, he didn't owe anyone anything. He could just bounce up to Cedar Point or to a shack on Route 2 for some perch — that's his right. But the practical, real-world effects of doing so are clearly evident here. Sadly, people tend to care.

Dan did nothing criminally wrong, so the cops have no further interest. The rest of us? More than a few people are curious.

In the meantime, make sure you tell everyone if you're going out for lunch or a smoke break or to the bathroom, because it could be a matter of minutes before your friends beam out an S.O.S. on your behalf.

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