Tragedies like the Parisian massacre offer a lens on our communities. As the most horrific event unfolded last evening, many came together to offer their hearts and share resources. For some, it was business as usual.
How we use public channels at time like these needs thought. While scheduled tweets are the obvious issue, there were those who carried on in real-time as if their tired echo chamber curation around the future of medicine or the plight of their personal disease was somehow relevant at that moment.
Understanding how to use public channels is important. Knowing when not to use them is equally important.
Each of us has drawn small audiences and communities based on trust. There are rare occasions when these channels are no longer about us and our agenda. There are times to drop what we’re doing and come together or, if nothing else, put a stopper in it. Basic social intelligence dictates that there are times for pause.
Of course, my crisis is not your crisis and there will always be tragedies unfolding on a global network. But, as President Obama suggested, the Paris massacre and what it represents is humanity’s crisis.
Social channels are an extension of IRL. There are those who talk and never listen. There are those with no ambient sense of what’s happening around them. So what we see on Twitter shouldn’t surprise us.
It’s during these rare moments that we discover something about those who we’ve chosen to listen to. Tragedy offers a lens on our communities and ourselves.