Can social media truly foster genuine collaboration despite geographical and language barriers?

The case of the collaboration between Canadian cattle veterinarian Cody Creelman and Ukrainian cattle veterinarian Vadim Pryadko serves to show the true power of and advancements in social media during the digital age.

A story that recounts the origins of Creelman and Pryadko’s relationship traces back to Creelman connecting to Pryadko by commenting on one of Pryadko’s captivating YouTube videos. The two then began to communicate on Facebook and Google Plus through the use of Google Translate, which itself underscores how far technology has come.

After discovering their many shared interests, most notably that of videography, Creelman began to incorporate Pryadko into his social media circles; when BCF Technology, a diagnostic imaging company, opened its annual video competition, with a prize of a $14,000 Easi-Scan portable ultrasound unit for cattle vets, Creelman saw a perfect opportunity for Pryadko to gain access to technology that he could not otherwise afford.

Besides helping Pryadko to create an entry video, Creelman further leveraged social media by promoting the video on his own Twitter account. A more recent article reveals that Pryadko, after advancing as one of six finalists, was named the winner of the competition.

Tired And Pregnant

Pryadko will now be able to better detect cattle pregnancy. Image courtesy of Josh Henderson.

The cooperation between Creelman and Pryadko is a multi-faceted one that has taken advantage of social media at every stage, from meeting through YouTube, to communicating on platforms through the use of a translator, to using Twitter to promote their campaign. Without question, this feel-good story is one that can only be possible in the current digital age.

While many people still understandably doubt the ability of people to find true friendships online, Creelman and Pryadko clearly show that neither geography nor languages are barriers that cannot be overcome.

Reading this story, I began to reflect upon an experience from middle school that may have been much different in today’s age. Throughout middle school, my classmates and I had to communicate with “pen pals” in England through the use of traditional pen and paper letters. Because messages often took days to deliver, I did not necessarily feel a strong bond with my pen pal.

With the power of social media today, however, my pen pal and I could have exchanged numerous messages daily, perhaps fostering a stronger relationship. Even further, because of the ease of overcoming language barriers nowadays, we would not have been forced to communicate with friends solely in England, but could have had pen pals in other European countries, such as France, Italy, and even the Czech Republic, as well.

In fact, throughout the past couple of years, I have been using Google Translate to communicate with family members in India, who are not conversationally proficient in the English language. Again, this allows me to foster and uphold relationships that I otherwise would not have.

With applications such as Slated, which translates text message into other languages in real time, constantly being introduced, the opportunities for more stories like the one of Creelman and Pryadko will only increase.

Featured image courtesy of tonynetone.


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