We all use Twitter differently and at 140 characters we try and cram in as much as we can to share with our followers what we are thinking, sharing, asking of them,etc. It is our profile and as we willfully exercise our freedom of speech and those that do not like it are free to unfollow, there are some that go above and beyond just unfollowing. I am not talking about those that tweet the same thing over and over, or those that use profanity in every tweet, nah, I am talking about the ones that cross the line. What makes it worse is when they do so and get called out on it and run and hide.
A Tweet Gone Bad
Last evening, a well deserved reaction to a very disturbing tweet came across my stream by @ed:
Monetizing at the Expense of Others
This is more than disturbing. Like the rest of us @onyxcafe is entitled to tweet as they see fit and, as a business, they are entitled to tweet offers. Unfortunately they were doing so at the heels of an explosion where lives were lost, some of the injured suffered 3rd degree burns and homes were destroyed. If they did not have all the information about the explosion and thought that this was a forest fire which does happen frequently in CA during this time if year, the tweet was still in poor taste as they were asking people to come to their establishment during a forest fire, not offering it as shelter, but to bring in business.
My first reaction was how dare you try and monetize on someone’s sadness. Then I thought about it and realized that too many do not live the way that I do where no-one’s sadness will ever be my happiness. While I struggle to believe that their intent was not to be capitalizing upon this tragedy, their actions since seem to tell the story. As you can see, they have removed the tweet and have since closed due to the fire. No apology for the tweet, no remorse, no offering of food, water, etc. NOTHING.
Twitter as a Vehicle Share a Piece of YOU
I was angry and sad when I saw this tweet. Having had a very destructive house fire in 1983 when I was in 8th grade, I am very sensitive to fire. Sensitive as I have been there. I know what it is like to only have the clothes on your back, to be displaced from your home for 4 months, to lose your possessions (hey even if they are your KISS vinyls and Queen 8-track). Fortunately no-one was hurt as despite being inside the house when the fire started, the alarms had not gone off yet so I was walking back to school from lunch as my mom drove past en route to run errands when within minutes it was known that the house was engulfed in flames.
I sat and thought for a minute about the people that were affected by the San Bruno explosion and then was immediately reminded of a post that I had read not too many hours before by Tamsen McMahon titled Fables of the Deconstruction.
Be useful. Be passionate. Be thoughtful. Be kind.
The two in the middle are for me, really, and are guides for my inner life. The outer two are guides for how I want to interact with everyone else—and serve as an important balance to one another.
We can be kind, but not useful (unless, of course, being kind is the most useful thing to do in a given situation). But, more importantly, we can be useful without being very kind, especially if we cloak it in a desire to “be helpful.”
This is in line with the way I try and conduct myself and find that being kind to others makes me happy. A happy Suzanne makes for a better life for me and my son. Sure I say things that I am not proud of when I read through my twitter stream later and cringe but for the most part I try and treat people better than I like to be treated. That is me and I cannot expect everyone or even anyone else to be this way.
My deepest and sincerest condolences to the families of those what did not survive. I have no words that can ease your pain and sadness but I do hope that knowing that you are in the thoughts and prayers of so many helps, even just a little.
While this is only one example of a tweet gone bad, I want us all to remember that yes business is business but please not at the expense of others. And to you @onyx cafe, I am calling you out right now. You want to tweet then how about tweet a fundraiser that you will be hosting tor raise money for the families who lost everything, create a drop off center for people to donate money, clothing, etc. that YOU take over to the Red Cross, provide free meals to those affected or really do something and pay for the funerals of the 4 that passed away. You want to tweet, then have at it.
UPDATE: @onyxcafe has heard us! Not necessarily this post (I hope it was as it came out within an hour after this) however they have on their Twitter admited that there was an “extremely distasteful” post to the FB, which must feed to Twitter or vice versa) and well:
photo credit: smi23le