Two major news events unfolded this weekend that involved death. One was a terrible tragedy in Norway that involved over 93 people dead in a senseless terrorist attack. Another was that Amy Winehouse, well-known singer and celebrity, died. Naturally, people shared both items of news across social networks.
Then, I saw people whining, moaning, and bitching about the number of tweets and Facebook updates they saw about the Amy Winehouse rather than those who shared the news about the tragedy in Norway.
Social networks are personal, narcissistic platforms. People share what is important to them. That could be how delicious a sandwich is, or how cute their dog is. Sometimes they share news that going on in the world. Other times, they share the death of a celebrity.
The people who compare the two events are smug assholes who want to shame you into feeling guilty and heartless. They want to be better than you. They want to prove through a hastily written update that they have more empathy than you.
There is no grade of what makes a good tweet or Facebook update. Sharing news, what ever the topic, does not make you an asshole. Heartless and cruel thoughts attached to the news you share do.
Don’t feel guilty because someone’s music touched your life and the least you wanted to do was share a passing message into the void of the internet. Personally, I cannot begin to comprehend the pain the people of Norway went through this weekend. While I know I have a few regular readers from Norway, I question what impact, if any, my written condolences would offer offered through the medium of this blog or any of the social networks I use. The best thing I can do is continue to do what I do best, call out the jerks and slime balls while making people laugh.
To people who would use a tragedy to guilt, shame, and deride other people in their moment of sadness about someone whose work touched them: How dare you be so heartless and selfish. Shame on you. You are everything that is wrong with the internet.