After Sandy Hook, Social Media Bonds Us All

BlogHer Original Post

Over dinner last night, we were telling our kids what life was like before cell phones and email accounts, before Twitter and Facebook. They were laughing as we mimicked the sounds the modem made as it dialed into the Internet and talked about ways we got around the high payment for long-distance calls.

But in the back of my mind, I was thinking about how isolating it was before we were hyperconnected. Things happened and it could take hours or days before you could connect with the person. You paced around the house, from room to room, desperate for information with no way to get it. As much as I complain about connectivity sometimes, the Internet not only provided information last Friday after the events at Newtown, but it brought comfort and kind words of support from all corners of the earth.

© Nicolaus Czarnecki/ZUMAPRESS.com

The story of VDog immediately comes to mind.  She tweeted after the first bits of news went out about the shooting, waiting for word from her sister-in-law as to the status of her nieces and nephew. Her nephew, Noah Pozner, was killed in the attack. Not only did friends as well as strangers step in to provide the family with food and words of comfort, but friends have set up a Facebook page (which is also on Kaiser Mommy's blog) outlining ways people can help, especially in paying the funeral expenses. They've also gathered on Twitter under the hashtag #LoveForNoah.

Moreover, VDog's sister-in-law asked for letters that she could bury with her son. According to Jewish law, he needed to be buried as soon as possible, and there were few options to get the cards there in time. VDog and her friends asked a few carriers via Twitter if they would step up and help get the handmade cards and letters to the family in time for the funeral since VDog couldn't attend the service. JetBlue immediately jumped in due to the tweets and offered to fly the cards across the country to Connecticut.

Beyond reaching out to VDog and her family, friends are working to keep Noah Pozner -- and all the people lost -- on the forefront of people's minds, reminding people the important people from this event rather than the shooter.

Dyke in the Heart of Texas has a beautiful tribute to Noah Pozner. Her reason for writing it comes from a realization that came to her as she watched the coverage.

A news reporter prompted me to write this blog on this very sad Sunday. He looked into the camera and asked if the viewers remember the killers’ name in the Columbine killings of 13 years ago. Two names quickly came to my mind, which I refuse to put in this blog. The reporter then asked if I, the viewer, remembered just ONE of the victims’ names at Columbine. My stomach tightened and I felt personal disgust, at the realization that I could not come up with a name. Then it hit me, that is the ONE reason this American shame continues.

She challenges readers to stop focusing on the killer and the coverage of his life and instead think about the victims, committing their names and faces to memory. I too decided to always remember Noah Pozner, as a fellow twin mother, and I will always hold his surviving sister in my heart.

Whiskey in My Sippy Cup remembers the aftermath of Columbine, which happened a few miles from her town. Her heart went out to the people of Newtown, not realizing how close the events would hit until her friend lost her nephew, Noah Pozner. She urges readers not to think of the events as something that has happened to someone else, but something that has happened in our world, in this enormous community that each of us are part of in the collective whole of society.

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