There is a trend developing in this electronic world, that I would hope people will really take a look at and re-evaluate. It is beyond inappropriate, in my view. This trend is to send out notice of an individual’s sudden and unexpected death through a mass email list.
I just got one from PelicanNetwork, and let the owner know that in my opinion this is in extremely poor taste. I have known about this death for most of the week, but if I hadn’t, this is not how I would want to find out. Think about it. Think of the people who hadn’t known. Is this the way they should find out? This is the kind of news one prefers to get from friends, personally, not through a huge email list, many of whom don’t even know this person.
Two years ago, I was traveling in Peru with a friend. We were out on the Amazon, completely isolated. When we finally returned to civilization, 10 days later, at the hotel in Lima, I checked my email. I had received another sudden, unexpected death notice via a different email list. I could not breathe – literally. My friend and I were both devastated. We spent $200 on international phone calls trying to find out what happened, how, and why. This was the type of news that we would have received from friends upon our return. Instead, we received it in isolation, far from our beloved Big Sur, where we could hold and be held.
Think. Please. Would you want to be notified via a huge impersonal Big Sur email list about the death of someone you had known since he was in Kindergarten?? Maybe I am old school, where manners and civility, particularly in times of tragedy, matter. Maybe being unconscious of the pain one’s actions can cause is the way of the world, but I don’t think so.