The Florida mom, who tweeted about her son’s accidental drowning, now wants the media to leave her family alone. Blogger Shellie Ross, who also tweets as Military_Mom, lambasted the press in a December 17 post, telling them to “Stop trespassing onto our property … Stop calling me, my family and friends for comments.”
Ross came under fire this week for tweeting just 49 minutes after her son called 911 to report his brother, two-year-old Bryson, was floating unconscious in their swimming pool. Ross’ 6:12 p.m. tweet said, “Please pray like never before, my 2 yr old fell in the pool.” Nearly five hours later, after her son had been pronounced dead, Ross posted a photo and tweeted again, “Remembering my million dollar baby.”
Bloggers and media pundits across the Internet have weighed in on both sides of the issue, either ridiculing or supporting Ross. It’s hard to imagine any mom, even thinking about tweeting, while her child is being resuscitated by emergency personnel. This is the new reality of the 21st century, however.
Tweeting is a way of life for children of the Internet Age. But it comes at a price. When you open up your personal life to the general public via Twitter, Facebook or blog, you are no longer bound by privacy. This is the case with Shellie Ross. She took on the responsibility of an open profile when she began to post daily accounts of her life.
Ross and other new media purveyors like her must realize the repercussions of communicating in this new medium. Most probably do. Marketers know this all too well, using Twitter and other social networks to communicate in a time of crisis. Investigators will determine if Ross was negligible. That’s irrelevant since a two-year-old is dead and the story now is the medium, not the message.