3.11.2011

The Discordance of Twitter During Disasters

Disasters like last night's insanely huge earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunami bring out the very best and the very worst in people. And Twitter remains one of the most important and up to the minute places to get breaking news. The only problem with Twitter during events like this is that there will always be folks who carry on like nothing's happened, tweeting about their lunch, tweeting about the jerk who cut them off, tweeting as if there isn't an entire country in shock and not even beginning to start the recovery process from the double whammy.

And sometimes its just too discordant to try and parse the disaster tweets from the mundane What-I'm-doing-now tweets. And it is also sometimes difficult to not get irritated with the people who carry on as if nothing is happening. People are dying, people are suffering mightily and you're tweeting about trying to get a cab? There's a more polite term for it, navel gazing, and a less polite term, head up ass.

It is difficult to not want to shout at these people just going about their day as if nothing is happening. I know life goes on, it has to, but still, your tweets about the mundane are so very unimportant now (truthfully, they were unimportant before but far more so now).

And yes, I know that its important to not get stuck in the trance of the devastation, to go outside, to breath fresh air, to do the things you have to do to get through your day. But I think its also incredibly important to respect the tragedy unfolding before our eyes. And maybe think twice about tweeting that you're pissed because the bagel shop is out of your favorite kind of bagel.

By the way, if you do want to follow the tweets in real time, use this link.
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