The website Mashable reported the case of a woman, Anna, who lost her son in a car accident – the twist being that police contacted Anna to let her know about the accident via Facebook. The article is available here.
It is true that social media can be used very effectively in emergencies – for instance, think about the role of social media during Hurricane Sandy. Moreover, as our own research shows, social media users are less and less uncomfortable about interacting with organisations on websites like Facebook. But contacting a mother to tell her about the loss of a son via Facebook?! That seems a step too far.
But, then, our online behaviours have changed so much in just a couple of years. Now, we post pictures of our meals, we feel compelled to share the experiences we live, and we create memorial pages on Facebook. Maybe it won’t be long before it is normal for police to reach out to you via Facebook. What do you think?