Can social media play a role in a time of life crisis? The answer is a resounding yes, says blogger who abruptly lost his 35-year-old wife and was comforted by the massive show of support from Twitter- and Facebook friends.I've been meaning to blog about this issue for quite some time now, but I didn't want to treat the subject in a haphazard manner, and the right words seemed to escape me. The particular life crisis digital developer Mads Kristensen describes is a very dramatic and harrowing one. However, it is my experience that social media can be of great help even in what, compared to Mads' story, are quite minor troubles as well, but first anexcerpt from the mentioned post:
Ten days ago my wife suddenly suffered from cardiac arrest in the middle of the night. I called 911 and did, what I could to help here, but it was to no avail. She was taken to hospital and put in an intensive care unit without regaining consciousness.
I was of course in shock. But I got the word out on Twitter. And in a matter of what seemed like a few minutes the first messages of sympathy started to come my way through Twitter and on Facebook, to which I have tied in my Twitter account... It helped me on a personal level... It helped to reach out... My wife sadly died on Saturday October 4. She was 35... (full post here).
Mads' experience of how reaching out through the social web like this was of great comfort makes perfect sense to me, and I've heard many tales of other bloggers who've found a lot of support from their readers in difficult times. Their troubles have been very different ones though, and I don't want to mix things up by dwelling on the details, but rather just say that: yes, there seems to be a lot of evidence around that this can be of great support, be cathartic even.
Some would of course argue that it's a dangerous thing, something that people may come to regret at a later stage, sharing toomuch of their lives like that, especially when they are going through such upsetting times - I've treated a rather different aspect of this here - but I think times are changing, the culture is changing, and part of what Ben Casnocha
On a personal note, even without the soul-baring, I've often found that when I've been depressed about such things as, well... taxes, the weather, and oh well, taxes... when I've felt like I've been fighting windmills and other impossible obstacles; even wished I had it in me to sit down and give up... social media has been of great comfort.
One minute I've been lost in dark thoughts over some trivial or not so trivial issue, then someone left a funny comment on my blog - forcing me to laugh, forcing me out of whatever dark mood I was in - or I discovered someone blogged about something I wrote, giving it a great new spin and taking it in a direction I had not forseen, or I read a funny tweet or see some heart-warming pictures on Flickr from friends in far-away places... the world becomes so much smaller this way....
Somehow you're more connected than ever: both with people you've never met but feel you "know" through their blogs, and with friends who live in the same city but you just wouldn't be able to check in with so often if it wasn't for Twitter, blogs, and social networking sites...