This a week a tragedy hit our community. An absolute tragedy for all involved. There’s no other way to describe it. Everyone is hurt. Everyone is heart broken. And everyone wants to know why.
Now, don’t worry. I’m not going to subject you to my opinion on most of this. Not because I’m not affected, or sick over it, but mainly because it’s not my story to tell. That belongs to the people who were there or the people who had children there. Or, the unthinkable, the people who lost children there.
No, I’m only going to hit on one point. And it’s this:
When looking for the why, please be kind and stop and think before you share.
I understand, you want answers. We all want answers. But sometimes they’re just not going to be there.
When something like this happens, it often brings out the best in a community. This is no exception. My Facebook feed is filled with fundraiser after fundraiser from not only this community, but from all over the area, and beautiful words from grieving hearts. They’ve been a somewhat bright spot in a truly dark time.
Unfortunately, my Facebook and Twitter feeds are also filled with something else. And that’s all the pure speculation that surrounds a tragedy like this. While an event like this brings out the best in people in person, it also tends to foster the worst online.
Within hours, I saw dozens of theories that I personally knew not to be true. Horrible, hurtful things on all sides. Things that bring no one comfort, only more pain.
It’s important to remember that when you share something on social media, even if you state that you don’t know whether or not it’s true, it’s mostly taken as fact by everyone who sees it. And that causes problems. And, more often than not, provides no answers.
I know social media can be a wonderful tool. It allows the spread of information quickly to a large number of people. BUT it allows the spread of information quickly to a large number of people.
So, I just ask that you take a second before you share that post, always, but especially in a situation like this. Ask yourself: 1. Do I know this is fact? and 2. Will this even help anybody? If the answer is no, then it might be better to rethink putting it out there.