Cars, houses, lives crumbled as the tsunami slammed into Japan’s coastline, obliterating everything in its path.
Anyone witnessing this ‘live’ footage could see for themselves this was no ordinary event. This was devastating – and Twitter reacted as I thought it would.
Prayers, thoughts, disbelief dominated my timeline – people united in shock at events that unfurled before them. Retweets from Japan touched my timeline with gripping poignancy.
On a personal level, it took me back to 2004 where I faced and somehow survived the deadliest tsunami in history. Nothing prepares you for a fist of water. Nothing… And life can’t be the same afterwards.
Watching thousands of people affected by an unstoppable force within seconds IS terrifying. I even spotted someone in a field trying to run from the water. Incredibly hard to watch, making most of us, I’m sure, feel helpless.
Twitter, apart from the odd business tweet, became a congregation – united in horror at the sheer scale of devastation. People reacting on a human level to others in trouble.
Yet within minutes, I spotted cynics criticising followers for jumping on the bandwagon of grief, dismissing emotion as self-indulgent or for show. Several followers even made jokes about it! Unbelievable … shameful.
Whatever happened to compassion? Despite freedom of speech, shouldn’t we consider the impact of what we say on such emotive subjects?
People, of course, are entitled to say what they think. But callous comments about an unfolding tragedy show the true merit of a person. Attacking others for voicing their emotion to a humanitarian crisis is at best thoughtless…
Today, as Japan struggles to come to terms with reality, news of possibly 10,000 people still missing, and nuclear reactor leaks, tugs at the heart strings.
After the cameras have gone, these quiet, dignified people have to find a way to pick up their lives and make sense of it all. And I’m not ashamed to say that I feel sad as I know how hard that is.
If Twitter as a community can help in some way, then that’s wonderful. Thank goodness there ARE selfless people in the world who care enough to voice what really matters…