social mediaAs the horrific events during the Boston Marathon unfolded yesterday–Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites were awash with news updates, condolences, expressions of shock and reassurances from Bostonians of their personal safety. But amidst all of that there were also people going about business as usual in their feeds. They posted about what they ate, what they wore, thoughts on a particular television program and the like.

I saw more than a couple digital slaps on the hand towards those people. Some felt that any tweets or status updates that were not about the Boston Marathon were just crude and insensitive. Eh. I do agree that any off-color jokes about bombs or losing limbs would be in poor taste, but I personally appreciate a bit of levity in times of tragedy. Show me a cute puppy. Put me up on a funny SNL skit I’ve never seen. Share that hilariously bad song a popular artist just put on SoundCloud.

And even if it’s just everyday life updates, I can rock with that too. In the wake of tragedy, our lives do go on as we try to make sense of what happened. And who are we to tell someone else what she can do with her social media accounts?

As for me, like a lot of other people, I expressed my condolences and shared updates from reputable news sources. But I also updated my Tumblr and shared my Week 2 experience with the Artist’s Way—neither of which had anything to do with the Boston Marathon.

During tragedies like this, do you find yourself unwilling/unable to post about things not related to that event? Does it bother you when people post about “mundane” things at such times?

Demetria Irwin is a New York City-based freelance writer/editor. Follow her on Twitter, @Love_Is_Dope.

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  • What else can you do but express your condolences and go about your life? This may sound harsh, but we have to keep it moving. This event has once again proven just how unpredictable life can be. The best way to pay respects to those who have lost their lives is to live ours to the fullest. I am sincerely saddened by the bombing, but I can’t change anything by posting morbid updates online all day.