Friday, April 20, 2007

Grieving Online

From the last post you'll see I went off on another direction, but the main thing I have been thinking about as a result of the campus killings in the US is the role these social networking sites play today.
Sites like Facebook, and Myspace among others (those are the only two to which I belong) are often viewed as a place for pedophiles to troll for little girls. I know there is a lot of that, and I know there are a lot of young girls talking about things they likely should not talk about on the internet where everyone can see, but there is a role for these sites. And the killings showed that first hand.
Every news story I read had clearly gone onto these sites to see moving tributes. One of the guys killed apparently had 1000 + friends on Facebook and while the whole situation was unfolding, people were posting thoughtful messages, and meeting on his site to talk about what was taking place.
Within a few hours, and even days, thousands of "groups" were formed for people to leave their thoughts. I think it helps people deal with this stuff. After all, if this is where everyone goes when they turn on their computer, why not meet there and "talk" it out?
From legitimate heart-wrenching notes, to ones that attacked all Asians, or all Koreans came up within hours of the shootings.
It really is a powerful tool, and one that people need to accept. These social networking sites aren't going away, so it's time people realize it's more than just a place to go look at really young people without many clothes on.

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