I am beside myself tonight. The news is horrible coming out of Moore, Oklahoma. And it keeps getting worse. But that is not what is upsetting me the most. It’s the damn auto tweets and posts that seem so out of place between the devastating news. Here I am. Sitting safe and sound in Los Angeles. Yet I feel like I am there. Social media provided me a first hand account of what was happening to my friends and colleagues in and around Oklahoma City today.
- Patrick picked up his kids at school while his wife was huddling in the stairwell of her work.
- Stacy was with the kids in the middle of the house as the storm passed through Tulsa.
- My friend Tim is a reporter in Norman. I sent him a note via Facebook. I cannot imagine what he has seen today.
When The Voice tweeted out asking who I was going to vote for, I replied:
@heather_morse: .@NBCTheVoice no voting. Too busy praying for the missing children in Moore, OK. #stopautotweets
A few if us are commenting on Twitter how the auto tweets need to stop. It was only a month ago I wrote this piece, When tragedy strikes pull your auto posts immediately. And yet someone on my feed defended them. She’s from OK. She thinks it’s OK to tweet about other things. I disagree. When you have hundreds, if not thousands of followers, you don’t know who is going to be offended. Who is turning to Twitter or Facebook to try and find and connect with family since phone lines are down. How hard is it to just stop for 24 hours? Give everyone a breather from what you are eating, or what seminar you have coming up? We don’t have to always have something witty or pithy to say. What does the disregard for others who are personally impacted by a disaster like this say about your brand? About you? And it’s not just in social media. I had an “owner representative” from my timeshare call me tonight. I told her that I found her call to be highly ill timed due to what was going on in Oklahoma. She didn’t get it and, oops, we were disconnected. Normally I’d call back and complain, but I was too invested in the news to care. All I know is that tonight my heart is breaking for people I do not know. For the children. For their families. For the young man who was crying that all he owned in the world were the clothes he was wearing and his shoes. I don’t want to be sold anything right now. I don’t want a robo-call or auto post to invade my space. I am turning to my social streams for news. Updates. Hope. To quote Woodsy Owl, “Give a hoot. Don’t pollute” my social streams.