Twitter to Announce Deaths, Send Sympathies and Condolences
Twitter Allows Us to Share Our Grief, Sympathies and Condolences
In addition to being one of the hottest social media tools, Twitter is becoming a medium for announcing deaths and sending sympathies and condolences.
This lens started as a way to look at sending ones condolences and sympathies on Twitter on a very sad day on June 25, 2009, the day that we lost both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. One was a more anticipated death, the other a sudden unexpected death.
The two deaths follow Ed McMachon's slightly more anticipated death earlier in the week. It was a difficult week marking the passing of three icons of American pop culture.
As I was writing the lens on June 25, 2009 and the events of the day unfolded, the lens also became a look at Twitter as a way to find out news, announce deaths and connect people in a time of loss.
This week illustrates how Twitter allows people in grief to connect immediately, to share the news, their hopes for a good outcome and then also to share the losses and the sorrow.
In the intervening time, Twitter has become even more of a way for people to share their sympathies condolences in real time with many people posting their RIP tweets.
Twitter Connects During Times of Grief
Perhaps one of the most remarkable outcomes from the new social networking Web 2.0 tools is the ability to connect people instantaneously during times of grief. With applications like Twitter, people are able to send and receive messages almost as they were happening.
Twitter and other websites were broadcasting the deaths of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and many others within minutes of the news being reported.
People hear the news and can retweet the news to friends and send their condolences in the growing tweets of sympathy. As noted by Mimi (GrowWear) above, with Twitter "We have no better way of connecting with the family and friends of well-known folks who have passed on."
In time of Loss Twitter becomes a Place for Sharing Grief and Condolences
With the ability to post a tweet quickly, Twitter is proving to be a new way for people to connect during a time of loss.
Twitter allows people to:
- Share their grief, their losses and their condolences.
- Experience a common loss.
- Follow a breaking story about a death in real time.
Tweeting RIP Notices on Twitter
Image adapted from Twitter Bird.
Share Your Thoughts on Using Twitter to Announce Deaths and Tweet Sympathies
Sharing thoughts in this section remain only on this lens. If you want to tweet your thoughts, see the Twitter module.
Do you tweet condolences, sympathies or RIP messages on Twitter?
Supporting Each Other by Twittering Condolences
Part of the appeal of Twitter is the ability to support each other by twittering. The Fail Whale image seemed to work well with one of my favorite grief quotes:
- We are each of us angels with only one wing,
- and we can only fly by embracing one another.
- Luciano de Crescenzo
Michael Jackson's Death Reported in Real Time Online and On Twitter
News of the unexpected death of Michael Jackson put Twitter on overload as everyone scrambled to find out what had happened to the "King of Pop."
As noted by Dean Takahashi of the Ventura Beat "On Twitter's search function, Michael Jackson and "cardiac arrest" are among the top searches, as is Farrah Fawcett, who also died of cancer today. We're leaving in a real-time world. This is proof."
Within an hour of news of his death several key words for Michael Jackson topped TweetStats. Within four hours he was topping most of the TweetStats.
News of Michael Jackson's Death Overloaded Twitter
TweetStats on Michael Jackson
TweetStats from the first few hours and four hours after news of his death.
Twitter Buzzed about Michael Jackson's Cardiac Arrest and Death
- The timeline of Michael Jackson's death, as reported in near real-time
Pop star Michael Jackson is dead. We know that because the media is reporting developments in the case by the minute.
- Twitter abuzz with speculation after Michael Jackson rushed to hospital
Comments Blog from the Los Angeles Times reporting Twitter on Overload.
- Michael Jackson Breaks Twitter
Social networking site Twitter has completely removed their "trending topics" and "search" functions on the site after news of the death of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, as well as Harrison Ford and Jeff Goldblum death hoaxes placed an unseen a
- Jackson's death melts servers, causes NitTwits hoax deaths
The death of pop superstar Michael Jackson has led to a complete meltdown of servers around the world. It's also led to a series of hoax Twitter posts claiming other stars, like actor Jeff Goldblum, have met their fate from LIVENEWS.com.au
- Twitter: The Fastest Way to Get Informed. Or Misinformed
I spent this afternoon doing what a lot of people did: Watching TV reports about Michael Jackson while also gleaning information from the Web-especially Twitter.
- Jackson sparks celeb death hoaxes - Digital Spy
The shock news of Michael Jackson's death has sparked online rumours of Jeff Goldblum and Harrison Ford's passings.
Twitter Buzzed about Amy Winehouse's Death
- Stars Express Anger, Sadness Over Amy Winehouse's Death - UsMagazine.com
Celebrities like Lily Allen, Usher and Demi Lovato tweet about the singer's sudden passing
- Amy Winehouse Remembered By Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, More
As news spread that 27-year-old Amy Winehouse was dead, stars immediately tweeted out their shocked reactions and remorse over the talent lost.
- Amy Winehouse death sets Twitter on fire - Celebrity Circuit - CBS News
Singers and other celebrities took to Twitter to express shock and sadness at the death of the "Rehab" singer Read more by CBSNews.com staff on CBS News' Celebrity Circuit.
- Celebs Remember Amy Winehouse on Twitter - E! Online
British crooner's famous colleagues take to Twitter to lament remember what was and could have been
- Amy Winehouse mourned on Twitter | The Music Mix | EW.com
As news of Amy Winehouse's death at age 27 spreads, friends, fellow artists, and fans have begun to share their grief on Twitter: Salaam Remi (producer): "Very Very Sad Day. Just lost a Great Friend and a Sister" "RIP my baby SiS Cherry Winehouse.
- Amy Winehouse Dead: Classic Rockers React on Twitter - Ultimate Classic Rock
Several classic rockers have reacted to the news that 27-year-old British soul singer Amy Winehouse was found dead today (July 23) at her London home. Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx warned of the dangers of drugs, Jane's Addiction's Dave Navarro expressed
- Celebrities Voice Their Condolences Over Amy Winehouse’s Death on Twitter - OK! Magazine - The First
When reports surfaced on Saturday morning that "Rehab" singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment, celebrities rushed to voice their 201107
- Celebs tweet condolences for Amy Winehouse – The Marquee Blog - CNN.com Blogs
As news about the death of British singer Amy Winehouse spread on Saturday, fans and fellow celebrities took to social media to mourn her passing. DJ Sam Ronson, whose brother Mark helped put Winehouse on the musical map, tweeted "RIP Amy Winehouse"
Twitter Breaks News of Farrah Fawcett's Death
I was following Twitter the morning when it was announced that Farrah Fawcett had received her last rites. Over the course of a few hours the tweets went from people wishing her well, hoping she would have a chance to marry long-time companion Ryan O'Neal to news of her death.
I head the news first on Twitter, probably within 20 minutes of her passing. News was on Twitter before I saw it on Google News. It was an hour after her death before the news reached a top spot on Google News.
RIP Farrah Fawcett became one of the top trends on TweetStats within 4 hours of her death.
Twitter Connects People in One Thought
This is one of those rare days that the we all become aware and one in thought.
So odd that three icons passed Michael, Farrah and Ed McMahon.
Marlee Matlin, Twitter
General Information on Sending Twitter Condolences
While it shouldn't be used as the only way of sending condolences, Twitter is a quick and easy way to send a message to someone experiencing a loss that 'You are in my thoughts' in real time, or soon after hearing tragic news.
Twitter is also becoming a way for people to share in a common loss and in many cases share a common grief. Twitter allows the famous and the rest of us to share our thoughts, our shock and our grief following a loss.
Articles on Using Twitter to Send Condolences or Sympathy
- Expressing Condolences, Fears on Twitter
As transportation officials investigate the cause of the plane crash near Buffalo, people in the area -- and around the world -- are using Twitter to express their condolences, fears and reassurances from the Ahead of the Curve Blog
- Write Technology: Latest Tweets
Had a death in the family so will not be leading my Twitter session for the eLearning Guild tomorrow.
- Cityfile: Katie Lee Joel Can Always Find Comfort on Twitter
Using Twitter to Tweet about breakups.
- Twitter Condolences for Liam Neeson
Squidoo lensmaster Adrienne Jenkins encouraged people to send "Twitter Condolences for Liam Neeson and the Redgrave Family in Fond Memory of Natasha Richardson."
- Twitter, Facebook and MySpace users show support for victims of the Victorian bushfires | News | New
AS the death toll climbs Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz with support for communities devastated by the Victorian fires.
- Ed McMahon Reactions...In Today's Twitter-Wood
Blog post on MTV Movies Blog about tweets for Ed McMahon's death.
- As millions get addicted to Twitter, we ask: Twit or Tweet? | The Sun |Features
The social networking phenomenon that is Twitter is reshaping the way we communicate.
The Twitter Book in the Amazon Spotlight
O'Reilly and Milstein have provided a user-friendly guide to using Twitter.
Using Twitter to Send General Condolences and Sympathies First
Sending condolence or sympathy messages is a good way for people to initially respond to news of a loss, much like sending an email message.
Etiquette still dictates sending a more formal letter of condolence or sympathy after sending the initial tweet, IM or email.
Books on Sending Instant Messages on Amazon
Sharing Twittears = Twitter Tears
Image adapted from Twitter Logo.
Tweeting Sympathy and Condolences
Image adapted from Twitter Birds.
Examples of Tweeting Condolences
Other Examples of Sending Condolences in Twitter
Earlier in during the same week in 2009 Ed McMahon died. His death continued to be tweeted about in light of these other deaths.
Twitter was all a buzz in the Spring following the unexpected death of Natasha Richardson as well. Twitter has also been used to report plane crashes, cover the events in Iran and other global events involving loss.
Tweeting Condolences for Ed McMahon
Ashton Kutcher, Jon Favreau and plenty of others tweeted condolences to Johnny Carson's former "Tonight Show" announcer [Ed McMahon], who died Tuesday June 23, 2009 in Los Angeles.
Brian Warmoth, Movie Blogs
The Unexpected Death of Natasha Richardson
According to the YouTube Video looking at how the "U.S. Responds to Actress Tragedy" TweetStats.com showed the actress story became the second topic users talked about the most on Twitter.
Following the initial reports Twitter messages ranged from updates on her conditions to condolences to the family.
Tweeting Condolences to Liam Neeson
Demi Moore, Jane Fonda and US TV star Martha Stewart all posted messages of support for Natasha's family and sent condolences to her husband Liam Neeson.
Nick Francis, The Sun
Turning to Twitter Following the Death of Natasha Richardson
- Demi Moore, Jane Fonda And Martha Stewart Pay Tribute To Natasha Richardson - Celebrity Gossip, News
Demi Moore, Jane Fonda and Martha Stewart have all taken to the web to express condolences to the family of Natasha Richardson.
- Stars 'Twitter' over Natasha Richardson's tragic death
Hollywood stars have publicly expressed their condolences to the family of Natasha Richardson on their 'Twitter' accounts. Demi Moore, Jane Fonda and Martha Stewart have all taken to the online micro-blog site posting sombre messages of support for N
- News - Lindsay Lohan, Meryl Streep Remember Natasha Richardson | Usmagazine.com
Following her tragic death Wednesday, Natasha Richardson's close friends and colleagues are reflecting on the powerful impact the talented actress had on Hollywood.
More Twitter Books on Amazon
Try to Send a Follow Up Note or Card
While sending a quick tweet with your condolences is a way to connect with family and friends at a time of loss, etiquette experts still recommend taking the time to send a sympathy card, note or a formal condolence letter.
Obviously in the case of a celebrity death, tweets may be the only way to be in touch and send your condolences.
Tweets are fleeting computer messages. Condolence cards and letters frequently become treasured memories for family members.
It will be interesting to see how our ability to Twitter condolences may ultimately impact or affect the formal etiquette traditions of the past.
Books on Sending Condolences and Sympathies on Amazon
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What do you think about using Twitter to Send Sympathies or Condolences?