Monday, August 3, 2009

in praise of the social network services

It's a bit ironic in the modern sense of the word that I've been complaining about social network services, and then my sister died, and now I'm very grateful for them. With very casual online friends, I always wondered whether to say anything when they posted bad news. Would I sound presumptuous?

Now I know the answer. You don't have to say much. A simple "I'm sorry" or "I can't imagine what you're going through" is appreciated. Longer stories are touching too, even from total strangers. Death should tell us that we're all family.

My increased appreciation of social networks doesn't affect my resolve to spend less time online, but I won't cut myself off entirely. If ever there's anything anyone thinks I should know, don't hesitate to leave an off-topic comment on a post or write me. I'm "shetterly" at gmail.


  1. Huh! That's a clever idea, and it doesn't even call for new software!

  2. In light of your comment, I'd like to extend my sympathy. Losing family is rough.

  3. Chris, thanks. I suspect there must be some people whose grief would be so intense and personal that they wouldn't want to hear anything from a stranger, but I think there would be very few. And they probably wouldn't blog while they were feeling that way.