I jokingly twittered earlier today that Joe Bob Briggs is penning my life script. This is mainly because of a series of deaths for various friends parents, grandparents & friends – Joe Bob would simply tally the body count, give it 3 1/2 stars and move on. However, in real life as experienced online, some have chosen to twitter or update their Facebook status as a way of letting large groups of people know about the passing of this family member or loved one. However, what’s odd for me is how people respond to these public announcements in such a public way.
Is it really appropriate to merely @ someone on Twitter, or to post on someone’s wall on Facebook? I’m not certain. I had breakfast today with Dr. Keely Kolmes, who will be covering relationships and social media in a core conversation at SXSW2009. This may be yet another area for her to cover at that time. For me, the most important thing is a direct communication to the person without expecting a response. A hand-written letter expressing condolences is always appreciated. A call offering assistance with specifics is good if you live nearby. Simply typing “I’m sorry” and doing so publicly, is probably okay, but it seems to lack the element of meditation that should come with offering condolences to someone.
Are we escaping the discomfort of confronting the mortality of those close to our own lives by using a few simple words to comfort others?