The Awkwardness of Social Media

One of my early adopted friends from when I joined Twitter in March 2007 made a comment that has stuck with me all these years. There had been a natural calamity — Earthquake? Typhoon? — and thousands of people had died. (It’s been a loooong time.) In the aftermath of said tragedy, for those of us not affected, we continued on our merry tweeting ways like business as usual.

He was offended. So much so to the point that he actually passively-aggressively tweeted something like: “Please be sensitive to those who were affected by (insert tragedy) and avoid tweeting messages that are not encouraging to them.” Or something like this.

I was taken aback. Granted, Twitter was young and the people we followed in those days felt almost like one’s own exclusive club. But to have an expectation that everyone would collectively commiserate was unfair. I wasn’t callous but neither was I emotionally vested in the tragedy. And even if I was, I would never have expected someone else to change their behavior on a social network on my account.

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