Our sister paper, Florida Today, reports on a case of viral grief that is raising questions of what is acceptable in today’s world of instant communication and tell-all messaging.
Two-year-old Bryson Ross died in the family’s swimming pool Monday. Mother Shellie Ross posted on Twitter.com about his accident a half-hour after she called paramedics — and then was attacked by strangers nationwide in follow-up tweets and blogs for doing so.
Ross, who has a blog (www.blog4mom.com) and 5,000 followers on Twitter (twitter.com/Military_Mom), wrote that she was outside with her son Monday evening and “it took him two seconds to slip away.” She called 911 at 5:38 p.m. to say she had found him in the bottom of the pool. At 6:12, she tweeted: “Please pray like never before, my 2 yr old fell in the pool.” The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said the drowning was accidental.
Almost immediately, Twitter users responded with support and criticism. The newspaper reports:
Madison McGraw, who does not know the Ross family, tweeted about the incident and also posted an item on her blog, at http://www.madisonmcgraw.com, titled “Mom Tweets While Son Drowns.”
“The person that I have compassion for is her son — who might still be alive if (Ross) interacted with her son like she interacted with people on Twitter,” McGraw wrote. “To me, that shows the repercussions for social media gone awry.”
On the other side, is Shari Keating, a friend who met Ross via blog and social networking conferences. “To judge her, I think, is appalling,” Keating said. “You have to realize that blogging is a community.”
Ross declined to comment to the newspaper, but she has been back on Twitter thanking supporters and castigating critics.
Via: USA TODAY