THE INTERNET can sometimes be a dark and dangerous place, and youngsters especially are warned of the risks that can be involved with communicating with strangers who may have sinister motives.

But it can also be a wonderful tool that makes the world so much smaller and more accessible. Children can speak to grandparents who live in far away continents, spouses can keep in touch with each other through video calls, and friends can be made and retained more easily that ever before.

Two stories this week have proved the power of the internet can be used to bring joy by spreading messages of love and friendship around the world.

Children at Le Cateau Primary School in Catterick Garrison have been inundated with hundreds of postcards from around the globe after requesting them from friends and family.

Teacher Sophie Bell said she could not believe how many they had received, and discovered that many parents had used Facebook or online gaming to ask friends of friends to get involved to boost the pupils’ project.

As far as grand romantic gestures go, our second story features a woman, also from Catterick Garrison, who should get serious points for creativity.

She decided to surprise her husband on their first Valentine’s Day as a married couple by asking her Facebook friends around the world to send her pictures of them in front of a landmark with a sign telling him how far her love for him goes. She then collated the pictures and presented it to him as his gift. Spectator wonders how she will top that next year – or indeed, if her husband will be able to.