How to Respond to Bad News Online

Erika Stalder — Times of global disaster are ripe for hyper-social networking. Friends sound-off on their walls, and vigorously tweet and blog of impending doom and gloom. And all these updates raise a tough question: How do you respond?

While the slew of information and off-the-cuff online comments can make “friends” appear like jerk-offs (“Hello! Pearl Harbor? Japan deserves it!”), fear-mongering attention seekers (“I can’t eat, sleep or breathe without thinking—nuclear fallout thing!!”) or cheerleaders (“tweet to raise money for Japan! Let’s go!”), most people are genuinely trying to communicate real feelings of loss, anxiety and or support for the trauma survivor experience. Here’s how to respond to everyone from true disaster survivors to incessant ralliers.

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