Twitter is touted as a social network. We share conversations. We share links. We share joy and sadness.
One of the most unexpected things for me has been the sharing of death.
It’s not something you think about when you sign up to Twitter. You don’t consider that in addition to sharing mighty fine links and getting to know people you’ll also share in people’s sadness.
This week one of my Twitter pals lost a good friend of hers. And my dog Sadie Shih Tzu lost a kitty pal called Oscar.
My reaction was unexpected too.
I felt genuine sadness. Even tears.
Twitter lets you interact with folks that you might not otherwise know. And suddenly you’re swept into another world: you get great links to information that helps you in work and play. You hear which hockey teams are the favourites; you learn what folks love and hate; you hear about crappy meetings; disappointments; but death? I wasn’t prepared for it.
People are using Twitter for many different reasons. I’m a website manager and connect with lots of marketing folks. The first thing on my mind when I follow new people on Twitter is usually what I can learn from them.
And in a way I suppose learning to cope with death has become one of those lessons.
But it wasn’t something I ever thought about when I joined Twitter.
Folks that are hoping to sell their product; create a buzz or network for business (and I’m one of them) should remember that Twitter is called a social network for a reason.
With contacts and knowledge also comes emotion and pain. If you want to ‘connect’ with people you should be prepared for the good and the bad. And reaching out to those folks that you’ve never met can sometimes be difficult. But you should expect it as a part of Twitter if you want to have meaningful relationships there.