"It's every parent's worst nightmare to lose a child in a car accident, but to have to hear it on Facebook, then have to chase up the police yourself, is just horrifying," Mr Matelis said.
That's the whole thing with social networking...news is instantaneous and yes, it would be horrible to find out about the death or demise of a loved one via Facebook...but people get on their mobiles these days and get onto Facebook and Twitter and the news is out. Same with blogs...they can get news out before a family or community finds out. Web 2.0 stuff is instant and not particularly bound by protocol. Police and official government agencies and hospitals have to go through a process and a series of procedures. They are bound by protocol in the interests of getting it right. The delay between a Facebook message and the police notifying a family would be hours...and could even be days. In the end we'll resolve this dilemma but in the meantime we have to feel for a family caught up in deep sadness and the directness of social networking. It's a tough thing to see that kind of stuff on Facebook and then you have to be the one who tries to get accurate information. Other people own what used to be your own personal and private information and the world gets to your grief before you do. It's wrong, in my opinion, but mobile technology makes it all too easy and possible and maybe people ought to think before they post. Another problem is people are at the scene and texting before the police get there, so the general population are the messengers these days.