Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mom Tweets While Son Drowns

People feel I should show compassion and apologize to Shellie Ross, the mother that was tweeting while her son, Bryson Ross was drowning on December 14, but after reading her Twitter feed that day - she started Tweeting at 8:37 a.m. on the morning of Dec 14 and continued all day - Shellie was engaging with others in conversation - she had 74 tweets leading up to this tweet at 5:22 p.m.:

"Fog is rolling in thick scared the birds back in the coop
5:22 PM Dec 14th from Echofon"

At 5:23 p.m., her son called 911 to report that his brother, 2-year-old Bryson, was floating unconscious in the pool. Records show that the Brevard County Fire-Rescue paramedics arrived at Ross' Mirrett Island, Fla., home at 5:38 p.m.

Ms.Ross had claimed to a "Tweeter" that asked (after Shellie tweeted about the drowning) "Why weren't you watching your son" and to which Shellie replied:

"@jalynsandoval you are an ass, I was outside w/him and it took 2 sec for him to slip away, I hope U never feel this pain u ass"
7:29 AM Dec 15th from Echofon in reply to jalynsandoval

Newspaper Floriday Today states "The mother of 2-year-old Bryson Ross found the boy at the bottom of a swimming pool behind the 5120 Pintail Lane home.

The mother did not see when the boy went into the back yard, Lt. Mike DeMorat said."

It doesn't take a detective to figure out that at 5:22 Ms. Ross was at her chicken coop tweeting while her 2 year old was out wandering around.

I counted 74 "tweets" from Ms. Ross from 8:37 until 5:22 ...and then at 6:12 she Tweets:
"Please pray like never before, my 2 yr old fell in the pool
6:12 PM Dec 14th from Echofon"

Anyone that has ever spent any time on Twitter knows that answering replies and sending out messages can literally eat up your time...a ten minute check of Twitter can turn into hours.

Perhaps if Mrs. Ross had spent less time Tweeting and more time playing with her son, this would not have happened.

I read Mrs. Ross's Twitter feed all the way back to June of 2009. She was constantly on Twitter. It took me two hours to scroll through all her tweets - and finally I was exhausted reading through them all and could take no more. She was a total marketer...and very entrenched in the Twitter/Social Media club...between June and December, she attended social/networking meetups in Disney, for General Motors, for Type A Moms, and Blogher - some lasting up to 5 days - they were all traveling trips and didn't include her family.

She often had "give aways" of $500.00 Walmart cards in order to attract traffic to her site, but if you read her Twitter line, she never mentioned the winner.
She often praised merchandise looking for freebies - which she often got: Eye fi, Crocs, HP, Kuru Footwear and assorted others.

Mrs. Ross even had links with "how to make money using Twitter."

Yes Sir - she did everything one is supposed to do to get noticed in Twitter Land, communicate often and engage people in conversations - do "giveaways" to attract more people, mention companies that you like often enough, and they will send you freebies, she had one Tweet that said, "I've tweeted so much, my API has failed!"

Well. There you have it. In her own words.
This woman was so entrenched in her Twitter World, that not only did she lose track of her son (which could happen to any parent that is not paying attention, that is not really my beef) - but she finds her son at the bottom of her pool, calls 911, and then - at 6:12- 34 minutes after calling 911 - she Tweets that her son has drowned.

Tweeters have rallied around her, sending her prayers and love. Tweeters are asking me where my compassion is.
Well, yesterday, I had compassion for Mrs. Ross - then I thought long and hard about it last night and read her Twitter time line are realized the person that I have compassion for is for her son - who might still be alive if Military_Mom interacted with her son like she interacted with people on Twitter.

Is it a sad, SAD, story, YES.
However, it's really time we start holding parents accountable for their actions instead of coddling them and saying "it's okay, it's okay, it was an accident."

Twittering all day, Twittering that your son has drowned moments after it happens, twittering his pictures, twittering the next day (and getting in fights with people) - to me, that shows the repercussions for social media gone awry - the need for attention - and will do anything to get it. Her twitter feed was all about getting attention from day one (with the giveaways, the RT's, the conversations, the brand name dropping, asking for donations, asking for sponsors) - and what's saddest yet, is she thought the drowning death of her son was appropriate Twitter feed.

We need to remember that social media can truly be a tool and you can meet some wonderful people, but we need to pay attention to those that are physically near us. Our real neighbors. Our children waiting for us to color with them. Our husband that wants to watch The Office with him. Our mother that hasn't heard from us in weeks. Imagine how strong our physical communities and our families would be if we paid as much attention and took the time with them as we do with Twitter and Facebook and Blogging.

I hope the Ross family finds peace. I hope Mr.Ross throws the computer down the steps. And I hope we all learn a lesson and spend less time online and more time with our families and friends.

@Military_Mom Twitter Time Line

@madisonmcgraw where us your heart bitch
about 24 hours ago from Echofon in reply to madisonmcgraw
ReplyRetweet

@jessiesmom8 - YOU are an ass, leave my family alone!
8:17 AM Dec 15th from Echofon in reply to jessiesmom8

@MockTV I hope you never feel like I do asshole
7:30 AM Dec 15th from Echofon in reply to MockTV

@jalynsandoval you are an ass, I was outside w/him and it took 2 sec for him to slip away, I hope U never feel this pain u ass
7:29 AM Dec 15th from Echofon in reply to jalynsandoval

Thank you all, going to try and sleep some now
3:02 AM Dec 15th from Echofon

Bryson Drago Ross http://twitpic.com/tkxsj
11:44 PM Dec 14th from Echofon

One more because I love him so thank you everyonehttp://twitpic.com/tktiu
11:10 PM Dec 14th from Echofon

Remembering my million dollar baby http://twitpic.com/tkt9t
11:08 PM Dec 14th from Echofon

Please pray like never before, my 2 yr old fell in the pool
6:12 PM Dec 14th from Echofon

Fog is rolling in thick scared the birds back in the coop
5:22 PM Dec 14th from Echofon

@themorrisbunch yep almost 30 total these are my oldest ones 4 roos the rest girls http://twitpic.com/tjd9e
5:21 PM Dec 14th from Echofon in reply to themorrisbunch

Now they are all coming out to see what I am doinghttp://twitpic.com/tjd1d
5:19 PM Dec 14th from Echofon

One of our roosters looking out at me tonight http://twitpic.com/tjcsk
5:18 PM Dec 14th from Echofon

My dogs caught and flipped a tourtoise on it's back, seems to be fine though http://twitpic.com/tjcoi
5:17 PM Dec 14th from Echofon

@Totally_Toni 15,000??? wow you filling up your house to have an indoor pool?
4:31 PM Dec 14th from TweetDeck in reply to Totally_Toni

@starryskye81 that information so just made my day! lol
4:30 PM Dec 14th from TweetDeck in reply to starryskye81

@FireMom size 3 ball
4:08 PM Dec 14th from Echofon in reply to FireMom

@themorrisbunch oh my, I have been lucky so far
3:45 PM Dec 14th from Echofon in reply to themorrisbunch

@themorrisbunch my mom thinks I am nuts for doing a fragile tree with a two year old
3:40 PM Dec 14th from Echofon in reply to themorrisbunch

@SugarJones lol not at the pc hold up
3:40 PM Dec 14th from Echofon in reply to SugarJones

Link to newspaper article:

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/shellie-ross-twitter-mom-tweets-son-death-pool/story?id=9353490

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