Twitter: the good and the bad

comments 21
Marketing

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.

My heart goes out to Liz S and Oscar the cat‘s mom Angie.

21 Comments

  1. Thank you. It was something I still think upon. The loss was huge. I’m grateful people like you were there with a word.

    This is lovely.

  2. Thank you. It was something I still think upon. The loss was huge. I’m grateful people like you were there with a word.

    This is lovely.

  3. Thank you. It was something I still think upon. The loss was huge. I’m grateful people like you were there with a word.

    This is lovely.

  4. This is a lovely post. I have been amazed by how strongly the deaths of so many twitter anipals have hit me this month. But it makes sense – these anipals are my friends. And I know more about them & their owners than I do about many of my in-person friends. One of the joys in twitter, though, is that we all have a strong network of support to get through times like this.

    Thanks for articulating so well what many of us are feeling.

  5. This is a lovely post. I have been amazed by how strongly the deaths of so many twitter anipals have hit me this month. But it makes sense – these anipals are my friends. And I know more about them & their owners than I do about many of my in-person friends. One of the joys in twitter, though, is that we all have a strong network of support to get through times like this.

    Thanks for articulating so well what many of us are feeling.

  6. This is a lovely post. I have been amazed by how strongly the deaths of so many twitter anipals have hit me this month. But it makes sense – these anipals are my friends. And I know more about them & their owners than I do about many of my in-person friends. One of the joys in twitter, though, is that we all have a strong network of support to get through times like this.

    Thanks for articulating so well what many of us are feeling.

  7. Jaye says

    I was also surprised how sad I was to learn of two animal deaths during the past couple of weeks: Daisy the Whippet and Delila the Gerbil. I was most familiar with Delila the Gerbil. Reading the tweets from Delila then later her human Mom, it was easy to see how hard her passing was for “Mama Gerbil.” I know it affected a lot of Delila’s followers as well. Immediately you realize how many posts are now from those we affectionately call “anipals.” Then you start to realize that death will be an inevitable and relatively frequent occurrence on Twitter.

    Certainly twittering about something like this will benefit many people grieving over a loss. You can almost see the little community who felt they knew the animal draw together like old friends. Still I don’t ever think it will ever get easier, and it really shouldn’t.

    So it doesn’t matter whether the pet was a small gerbil or a dog or a horse. They all share the fact there is a grieving owner left behind. And Twitter pals will be there for support.

  8. Jaye says

    I was also surprised how sad I was to learn of two animal deaths during the past couple of weeks: Daisy the Whippet and Delila the Gerbil. I was most familiar with Delila the Gerbil. Reading the tweets from Delila then later her human Mom, it was easy to see how hard her passing was for “Mama Gerbil.” I know it affected a lot of Delila’s followers as well. Immediately you realize how many posts are now from those we affectionately call “anipals.” Then you start to realize that death will be an inevitable and relatively frequent occurrence on Twitter.

    Certainly twittering about something like this will benefit many people grieving over a loss. You can almost see the little community who felt they knew the animal draw together like old friends. Still I don’t ever think it will ever get easier, and it really shouldn’t.

    So it doesn’t matter whether the pet was a small gerbil or a dog or a horse. They all share the fact there is a grieving owner left behind. And Twitter pals will be there for support.

  9. Jaye says

    I was also surprised how sad I was to learn of two animal deaths during the past couple of weeks: Daisy the Whippet and Delila the Gerbil. I was most familiar with Delila the Gerbil. Reading the tweets from Delila then later her human Mom, it was easy to see how hard her passing was for “Mama Gerbil.” I know it affected a lot of Delila’s followers as well. Immediately you realize how many posts are now from those we affectionately call “anipals.” Then you start to realize that death will be an inevitable and relatively frequent occurrence on Twitter.

    Certainly twittering about something like this will benefit many people grieving over a loss. You can almost see the little community who felt they knew the animal draw together like old friends. Still I don’t ever think it will ever get easier, and it really shouldn’t.

    So it doesn’t matter whether the pet was a small gerbil or a dog or a horse. They all share the fact there is a grieving owner left behind. And Twitter pals will be there for support.

  10. Amy says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling this way. I was surprised by how sad I felt upon learning of the deaths of these anipals recently. I haven’t been on Twitter very long and don’t interact much yet, but I felt like I knew them. My heart went out to all their other Twitter friends and to their families. I think that it is a comfort to all to be able to share their grief on Twitter.

  11. Amy says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling this way. I was surprised by how sad I felt upon learning of the deaths of these anipals recently. I haven’t been on Twitter very long and don’t interact much yet, but I felt like I knew them. My heart went out to all their other Twitter friends and to their families. I think that it is a comfort to all to be able to share their grief on Twitter.

  12. Amy says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling this way. I was surprised by how sad I felt upon learning of the deaths of these anipals recently. I haven’t been on Twitter very long and don’t interact much yet, but I felt like I knew them. My heart went out to all their other Twitter friends and to their families. I think that it is a comfort to all to be able to share their grief on Twitter.

  13. They come and go. That’s the fact of life. Thanks for sharing your feeling and insights.

  14. They come and go. That’s the fact of life. Thanks for sharing your feeling and insights.

  15. They come and go. That’s the fact of life. Thanks for sharing your feeling and insights.

  16. Thank you for your post- this is really touching and an important reminder that there are people behind those tweets. And not just in Twitter-land- the boy at the coffee shop who hands you your latte has a story, the woman who cut you off could be worried about a friend, your boss might have something to be scared about. There is a quote that smacks me upside the head every now and then, right when I seem to need to hear it:

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

    I just googled it, turns out that was written Plato. I’ve heard that guy was pretty smart :)

    So, be kind peeps and tweeps. Most importantly to yourself.

  17. Thank you for your post- this is really touching and an important reminder that there are people behind those tweets. And not just in Twitter-land- the boy at the coffee shop who hands you your latte has a story, the woman who cut you off could be worried about a friend, your boss might have something to be scared about. There is a quote that smacks me upside the head every now and then, right when I seem to need to hear it:

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

    I just googled it, turns out that was written Plato. I’ve heard that guy was pretty smart :)

    So, be kind peeps and tweeps. Most importantly to yourself.

  18. Thank you for your post- this is really touching and an important reminder that there are people behind those tweets. And not just in Twitter-land- the boy at the coffee shop who hands you your latte has a story, the woman who cut you off could be worried about a friend, your boss might have something to be scared about. There is a quote that smacks me upside the head every now and then, right when I seem to need to hear it:

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

    I just googled it, turns out that was written Plato. I’ve heard that guy was pretty smart :)

    So, be kind peeps and tweeps. Most importantly to yourself.

  19. Anonymous says

    Yes, after only 4-5 months – I’m finding a very close connection to many friends I’ve made on Twitter as well.

    That has made it very appealing to me… that along with (as you mention) the ability to learn so much from so many… not just on work related topics (web, marketing, social media, etc),… but as we are both learning,….on a personal/emotional level.

    I’m sorry for your losses. Take care.

  20. Anonymous says

    Yes, after only 4-5 months – I’m finding a very close connection to many friends I’ve made on Twitter as well.

    That has made it very appealing to me… that along with (as you mention) the ability to learn so much from so many… not just on work related topics (web, marketing, social media, etc),… but as we are both learning,….on a personal/emotional level.

    I’m sorry for your losses. Take care.

  21. Yes, after only 4-5 months – I’m finding a very close connection to many friends I’ve made on Twitter as well.

    That has made it very appealing to me… that along with (as you mention) the ability to learn so much from so many… not just on work related topics (web, marketing, social media, etc),… but as we are both learning,….on a personal/emotional level.

    I’m sorry for your losses. Take care.

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