Home > blogging for Britain > The problem with Twitter part I: self-interest masquerading as concern

The problem with Twitter part I: self-interest masquerading as concern


The papers on Sunday and Monday covered the tragic news about Amanda Holden losing her baby. With 20% of pregnancies at 3+ weeks miscarrying, chances are you will either have dealt with a miscarriage yourself or know someone who has. Despite being common they are awful whenever they happen and, without going into details, losing your baby at 7 months must be just unbearable.
The coverage was sympathetically written, but the thing that stood out for me was the focus of the articles on the messages of support and sympathy on Twitter from various celebs. In some cases the listing of celebs and their Tweets comprised the majority of the story.  This is lazy journalism, but I think highlights a wider issue with Twitter in general – people using Twitter to show how nice they are and to feel good about themselves.
Real friends of AH and her husband would have sent flowers, dropped round hand-written sympathy cards, walked their dog for them, offered to feed the cat, cancelled meeting up… basically all the things one usually does when someone you know experiences a death in the family.
Using something so public to deliver a ‘personal message’ strikes me as either clueless at best (if you’re assuming AH is concerned with Twitter at a time like this) or self-centric and shameless (if you’re using other people’s private and personal events to generate your own publicity via Twitter).
We see the changing nature of communciations, hearing about births and engagements via text or Facebook all the time, but isn’t Twitter’s role micro-blogging, i.e. commenting on world issues, offering thoughts on events and sharing your own musings rather than personal 1-2-1 messages?

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Categories: blogging for Britain
  1. neilchappell
    February 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I agree, except that this horrendous trend isn’t confined to Twitter. I have a number of Facebook ‘friends’ who habitually share bad news on their wall, or (and this is even worse), leave cryptic comments hinting at anything from a death in the family to a catastophic hair cut. Often, it’s difficult to tell which is which.

    Any sympathy I might have for their plight is usually outweighed by my disdain for their decision to tell the world via a social network. This is followed by dismay as other friends then compete to see who can empathise most in the comments section. My suggestion: post “So what?” or “Look on the bright side; you could be in an Egyptian jail”. But maybe that’s just me…

  2. boingster
    February 9, 2011 at 11:22 am

    my sister posted just “Ooops…” yesterday, prompting people to try and guess what she did… turns out she was locked out of her house – big news in Essex I guess

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