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Social Media As Personal Therapy

Last week Robert Scoble announced on Cinchcast the news that his son, Milan, had just been diagnosed with autism. I often listen to his Cinchcasts, and the disappointment in his voice was heartbreaking.

Then I began to wonder: If one of my children were to receive a devastating diagnosis, would my first impulse be to share the news on a public platform? Probably not. And that, among a number of obvious things, is what differentiates me from Robert Scoble.

Everyone’s got their transparency threshold. You can see it with attitudes surrounding location applications. The importance of community to each of us varies tremendously.

I see it among people with their own health. And its no different with our sick children — some of us start blogs, Facebook groups, and even national movements surrounding the issues of our kids. Others prefer the private support of family alone.

And social media has nothing to do with this. The urge to reach out or withdraw is human and individual. It’s unrelated to technology. Social media just amplifies the effect of those who choose to reach out.

I can’t speak for Scoble, but from having read (watched, and listened to) him for a number of years, I suspect his online relationships are pretty important to him. I wanted to say that it took a lot of courage to sit at a microphone and share his news. But that’s my more private perspective. For Scoble, it’s what he does.

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

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