Alexandra Samuel: How To Talk About Tragedy Online
She says it is important to keep several things in mind before you take to the Internet in a moment of distress—and end up venting your frustrations to a less-than-receptive audience and hurting someone—possibly yourself—in the process. You must know your personal capacity and purpose before you start typing, she suggests. Understand what you are capable of hearing or seeing when you begin to communicate about a tragic event and what you are looking to accomplish by doing so. It is important to also be careful about the wording you use and the forum you choose. By choosing nonviolent wording that doesn't directly attack someone, you are more likely to get a constructive conversation going, she says. "Be as gentle as if you were speaking to a parent who had just lost a child, and as ferocious as if you had 10 minutes of your congressional representative’s undivided attention," Samuel advises. Be firm, but not offensive, and she says you will be able to navigate through discussing the trauma in a beneficial way.
Samuel is an expert in "loving your life online." She is deeply involved in new media and was the longstanding director of the Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University before recently moving on to work with Vision Critical. There, she helps incorporate social media into the development of customer intelligence. She is passionate about the positive potential inherent in the Internet, and her talks help us make the most of our time online both professionally and personally.