Social Media Moms

In the Facebook of Tragedy

3 Comments 18 December 2009

Where do you turn in times of desperation? In the security of your home office, have you ever typed “self-help” into Google or tweeted “I need a hug”?  Whether we’re celebrating or commiserating, millions of people are turning to social media to rant and rave, vent and vilify.

I must confess that when my baby first laughed, and when he cut his first tooth, I almost immediately posted the news to Facebook. I saw this as an easy and unobtrusive avenue to share my news. My news was well received to the tune of five comments and four “likes” about his laugh.  Not only do I get to share my news, but I have proof of my neighbors and friends gushing over my little one.

When my husband was transferred to Baltimore?  Facebook!  When my sister-in-law got engaged?  Facebook!  What could be the harm in sharing the small successes and excitements of my day with my 253 Facebook “friends?”  Nothing.  Right?

So where do we draw the line?  What are the social media foupas in the face of tragedy?  On Monday, critics were, ahem, atwitter when a fellow ‘social media mom,’ Shellie Ross, twittered about the loss of her two-year-old son in a drowning accident.  Regardless as to whether her messages had anything to do with this unfortunate passing, what I find interesting is that one of Shellie’s first reactions to the news of her son’s death was to reach out via social media.  In this case it was Twitter, but Shellie Ross is a well-versed blogger.  She’s written on Blogs4mom and is a prolific user of Twitter. Therefore, much of her socializing occurs on the web.  For her — and for most of us — blogging, commenting, posting and even mass texting doesn’t feel any less social or tangible than phoning a friend or discussing something in-person with a friend.  In fact, it’s more efficient in time, money and energy; it connects us with more people than ever before.  It’s a new world of words — sent and received silently, but creating a noisy buzz, like the voices of Ms. Ross’ critics.   So, what’s wrong with a mom asking for a little empathy in the most accessible place she could think of, her place of work and respite, where her friends are sure to learn the news without her or anyone else having to repeat the terrible details?

pixel In the Facebook of Tragedy


- who has written 23 posts on Social Media Mom.

Morah means 'teacher' and that's what I am! I'm a teacher and also the Mommy of a little boy. I'm married to my high school sweetheart, who is an Actuary, and I just moved to Maryland. I have always enjoyed writing and I hope you enjoy my posts!

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3 Comments so far

  1. Jeannette says:

    I saw that earlier this week and I was very surprised by the nasty comments that Shellie received from her followers. To me, it makes perfect sense that she would post the news on twitter - for the exact reasons that you explained.

    I just went back to find her on twitter and she’s now protected her tweets. I don’t blame her, someone who wrote inappropriate comments also wrote a blog post about it. In poor taste, I think.

  2. Silvia says:

    Well, Facebook, Twitter are public. You share to a wide range and kind of people.
    That’s why you must expect “nasty” comments, also. But do not let them to hurt you.

  3. Silvia says:

    Well, Facebook, Twitter are public. You share to a wide range and kind of people.
    That’s why you must expect “nasty” comments, also. But do not let them hurt you.

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