I am such a fan of Social Networks and not a fan of the local Puerto Rico newspapers (each edition looks more like a phonebook with ads with very poor journalism). I prefer to get my news via social networks. Whenever there is something relevant that is happening I find out from my contacts.
Until a few days ago I was a big fan of retweeting or forwarding the news that was relevant to me. I usually forward it on twitter, which I see as the platform more focused on handling newsfeeds. Since I have been using Google + a bit more, I used it to forward the tragic news of Amy Winehouse’s death.
I am a huge Amy Winehouse fan and was upset with how addiction took over that young woman’s life. We all make mistakes but sadly Amy was not able to recover from some mistakes. Although the reason she died has not been confirmed most of us have seen how her addictions made her treat her body.
When I shared the news of her passing I saw a message from someone I admire and respect which really got me thinking. To summarize the message the person was asking if it was really necessary for everyone to forward and post such sad news all over social platforms. I understood his message, which will probably change my online behavior from now. I did see his point in over- sharing that type of tragic news for the following reasons:
Sharing Tragic News brings negative energy.
There are people that feed of tragic news and negative energy. If you want to bring them closer to you feel free to start sharing negative updates on your feeds continously and see what happens.
No Real Practical Lesson in Such a tragedy
As a family member of many addicts, when you spend time with them you get an idea of how they have been overtaken by their illness. Showing an addict the consequences of their actions, might not even change their behavior.
Using Sad News to Increase Traffic on a blog or site
The same way newspapers have a eulogy set up for major celebrities, some websites are waiting for tragic news to happen so they can bring traffic to their site and monetize on it at a moments notice. Many of them use social networks as link bait to bring that traffic to their website.
We all make mistakes
The same way you would not like others to share when you made a mistake, why would you like others speculating on what happen with someone else’s tragedy.
They are Celebrities but Human First
What gives us the right to increase the pain of those family members that were left behind with the lost of a loved one. Even though they are celebrities they are still human.
My Plan and change of Behaviour
I really think in the future I will do my best to stay away from spreading the mainstream news. Since many others will take care of spreading the word, I will count on them to feed me the news. I really want to get value out of everything I do and forwarding tragic news really does not bring much to my life.
Looking into my daughter’s eyes I would never want my daughter to fall under any of these illnesses or addictions. So if you have a family member that is an addict reach out to them and see how you can help them improve their life; it does a lot more than tweeting or forwarding negative news.
I really enjoyed what the folks at Puerto Rico Indie (@puertoricoindie) did when they shared the following message. Which translated into English means:
If you are troubled by Amy Winehouse death make sure you don’t ignore all those addicts that are around you.
If you are an Amy Winehouse fan let’s celebrate her work by helping someone with an addiction out. If you find one on the streets, provide them some clothing, a meal, water, or do something special for them. It’s up to you!
photo credit by Sequoia Hughes