Sunday, 11 September 2011

A story needs a story-teller...

On September 11th 2001 I was working in Bristol as a doctor training in public health, I had arrived in Bristol less than a month before and still hadn't found anywhere to stay. Some friends said I could house-sit for them, whilst they were on holiday.

I watched the tragic events that day on a computer screen at work. I went back to the empty house and felt very alone. I hoped to hear that my friends in the US were OK. I felt powerless.

Today Twitter is full of many sharing their personal reflections of that day. Atul Gawande has been writing about how it was to be a doctor in New York. He is sensitive. But an account @911tenyearson by the Guardian, which was tweeting the  factual series of events 'as it happened' has stopped. There are many tweets describing that stream as "bad taste" and "distasteful", but I think that it is the comment that these tweets were "blunt and faceless" when a "story needs a storyteller" which perhaps gets closest to why so many were annoyed.

Many expect social media presence to show sensitivity today. Many don't want cold hard facts. But others can't see why the stream ended.

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