When the Veil Gets Lifted and We Feel Each Other’s Pain

David Eun survived a plane crash and lived to Tweet about it. His Tweet was shared (ReTweeted) more than 31,000 times in its first 4 hours of publication. Once again, Twitter was faster than traditional news sources, beating CNN and others, because an eye witness to an important, breaking news story Tweeted about it as soon as he possibly could after crash landing. What added to the swift sharing was that David is a Samsung Executive and a friend of hugely popular Tech Guru Robert Scoble (@Scoblizer) who sensitively broke the news to his own  friends in Facebook. That’s how I learned about it. Before CNN. And before most of the world.

Both Robert and I agree that Twitter is usually the place that breaking news is first read/communicated, however, we both learned about it in Facebook.

David Eun

I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok. Surreal… (at@flySFO) [pic] — https://t.co/E6Ur1XEfa4

— David Eun (@Eunner) July 6, 2013

Thankfully, most of the passengers survived. When things like this happen, we usually find out about them via traditional news media like CNN and the event seems a bit more detached. We think “humph…those poor people. It must have been scary.” But when the eye witnesses and the victims share their first thoughts AS the event happens or immediately AFTER the event has occurred, we feel more connected to the moment and more connected to the people who suffered the tragedy. So, next time someone tries to tell you Twitter and other social media is a bunch of mundane thoughts, remember that the veil that separates us as human beings, going about our daily lives, almost on auto pilot, sometimes gets lifted in the Tweets and posts of those sharing these unique moments and we actually FEEL the emotions of the person who has suffered. That can only draw us closer together. And I think that’s a good thing.