The Positivity and Possibility of Twitter

August 26, 2013

Every other day, it seems, we hear of athletes, celebrities and professionals at all levels getting into trouble for something shared on Twitter (and other social media channels). I recently stumbled upon the FireMe site, which provides a real-time list of Tweets that can potentially get you into trouble. As I explore that site, I’m surprised at just how many people are willing to risk potential damage to their reputation or spend their time being negative on social media.

On the flip side, there is plenty of opportunity to utilize social media in a very positive way. Last month, I was blown away and moved by a series of Tweets shared by Scott Simon, an NPR journalist and host of “Weekend Edition Saturday”. Simon was spending time at his mother’s bedside in a Chicago hospital as she was dying from cancer and sharing his thoughts…

Reading Simon’s thoughts got me emotional as I flashed back to time spent at my mother’s bedside when she was in the ICU in a coma just two years ago. Unlike Simon, I did not get a chance to say goodbye or share any last moments of communication with her. I felt a brief moment of jealousy that Simon was able to experience this closure with her. However, reading about these precious moments in 140 character snippets gave me a sense of comfort and helped me imagine what my last words and moments of communication would have been like with my mother. While it was sad for me to read what Simon was going through, I felt emotionally connected to Simon and even uplifted to read about the last days and moments with his mother.

Some may argue whether it was right or proper for Simon to share these last private moments with his mother on Twitter. My answer is a resounding “yes.” There have been times when writing has been therapeutic for me throughout my own grief process. I realize that live Tweeting these last moments with his mother must have had a similar effect for Simon. I also believe the lessons and reminders can be valuable for all of us.

I am grateful Scott Simon shared his last moments with his mother on Twitter…it reminds me that while Twitter gets a lot of attention for to the many wrong (and negative) ways people use social media, it can also be used to share amazing, honest and emotionally powerful thoughts in one’s life.

For a more detailed article on Scott Simon’s Tweets at his mother’s bedside (including a slideshow of all the Tweets), please visit The Huffington Post.

How about you…what is the most memorable, positive and inspiring content you’ve read on Twitter?