“I Followed My Stolen iPhone Across The World” Or How Social Networks Erase Cross-Cultural Boundaries

“I Followed My Stolen iPhone Across The World” Or How Social Networks Erase Cross-Cultural Boundaries

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We are back with an amazing story, one that you might have heard of before, but did not know how, when and why it all happened—the story of Matt and Bro Orange.

The power of internet and technology brought together people from different parts of the world speaking different languages. Another reason it amazes people is that it can absolutely happen to anyone, including you.

How Matt Met Bro Orange

Matt Stopera, an employee of BuzzFeed, social news and entertainment company, got his iPhone stolen one day when he was having a drink in a bar in New York. The thief disappeared so quickly that it was impossible to catch him and get the phone back. Matt got a new iPhone shortly after that incident.

Sometime after that, weird pictures started appearing on his new phone’s camera roll. These were pictures of a man he didn’t know and his life. Lots of pictures were taken with the orange trees, the man’s family, and even selfies. Now Matt realized that his stolen iPhone, which he had already forgotten about, was still connected to the iCloud. Someone apparently purchased the stolen phone, which ended up in China, and kept sharing pictures through the iCloud.

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Matt shared this story on Twitter and it quickly spread on the internet, reaching China and Weibo, China’s biggest Twitter-like micro-blogging network. Within hours, Matt started receiving messages from China and shortly after that, Chinese netizens found that very same guy who had Matt’s phone! Chinese netizens called him Bro Orange, and the story about Matt and Bro Orange kept spreading on the internet. They started talking to each other, with Matt in New York, US and Bro Orange in Meizhou, China. Both of them became famous and people were writing to them both, hoping that the two would meet. And then this day came. They arranged to meet on March 18 and Matt flew all the way to the other side of the globe to finally meet his Brother Orange.

Internet and Technology Breaks Communication Barriers

During Matt’s visit to China, they got along very well despite speaking different languages. With a translator app, the two men could communicate with each other on any topic. Matt learned about the Chinese culture and tradition, ate delicious Chinese food and visited remarkable places – famous Chinese hospitality! During Matt’s stay in China, the two men became good friends.

This story would sound crazy even ten years ago. Nowadays, the internet and technologies are bringing people together, breaking the barriers of distance, time difference, language and culture. After all, even though we speak different languages and live in the opposite parts of the world, we all are the same.

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*Pictures were taken from the story, written by Matt. You can view it here.