Thursday, March 12, 2015

Racing Facebook Part II: Respecting the Power of Social Media

Yesterday a bunch of my USMC friends messaged me that a blog post I wrote last year about CACO notifications and social media was making the rounds again in the wake of the helicopter crash in Florida. It isn't lost on me that because of that post my blog gets very "popular" when tragedy strikes in the military aviation community. And honestly, I have very mixed feelings about that. On one hand, I don't want to become the face of loss in our community. I write this blog for many reasons - some selfish (it's therapeutic for me to write and reflect) - and some because I hope that every once in awhile someone reads my words and goes "me too!" or "thank god I'm not alone!". Not to be the one who pops up on Facebook feeds when the worst happens. That truly gives me the heeby jeebies in a macabre way. But I also think the message is important and worth hosting so I am coming to terms with the fact that this may become something I have to be okay with.

Theresa and I are both glad people are still reading her message about being gentle with social media and speculation in the wake of incidents in our community. The article was written to be read and spread and thought about. It is also meant to be discussed and debated. I still get emails from people who either strongly agree or strongly disagree with the message that Theresa and I are trying to spread. Some think that raging against the machine of social media is fruitless and we should all just accept that finding out via Twitter or Facebook that our loved one is missing or dead "is what it is". Some find comfort in the idea that we should try and remain quiet and sit on our hands until we know families have been notified properly. Opinions and debate are healthy and good. As for Theresa, she has been working hard with Gold Star Families to try and remediate the outdated and slow CACO process and bring it into the 21st century reality.

Last year I wrote an article for Military Spouse Magazine regarding social media and CACO notifications. Theresa helped me by generously sharing her thoughts and opinions (again) with the hopes of making this horrific time a little easier for the next men and women who will have to endure it. I never linked it here, but in light of the incident Tuesday I thought it was relevant.

Article in full:

My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the 11 service members killed Tuesday night. May they rest in peace.

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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