In my Google+ stream this morning, one of the people I follow posted of losing a friend. Comments that followed were from other people who knew this same friend, and included references to her Twitter feed, and her last tweet, which seemed desperately sad.
It’s a strange thing… I don’t know these people, but suddenly I am caught up in a grief-stricken conversation. And I wonder… is this the peril or the power of social media?
I went and read the tweets, and followed links to the friends and family of the person who died. I read of their loss and grief and sadness. And sitting here now, I feel a sense of grief myself—over someone I never met, never thought of before, who is being mourned by people I barely know, and that only as text on my laptop screen and small photos in the corners.
Is this becoming part of a larger community? Oversharing on their part? (I think not.) The ability of strangers to listen in on, and even kibbitz/intrude on, what should be private exchanges?
I’ve mentioned no names, but if you want to follow the trail that I did… http://bitly.com/H58s4T