Legendary writer, director and producer Nora Ephron died yesterday after a battle with leukemia, and she is being mourned around the world today by her fans on Twitter, a practice that already has Gabe from Videogum up in arms.
Unfortunately, I did something yesterday that was a whole lot dumber. Around 8:30 last night, when I read (in an established news outlet) that Ephron had passed away, my stomach went into my throat. I scrambled to my personal Twitter account to delete the incredibly stupid thing I'd written roughly 6 hours earlier:
"I feel bad about my death"- Nora Ephron
In my defense, earlier that afternoon, a blog post by Liz Smith had refered to the woman behind some of the most successful romantic comedies of the 20th century in the past tense, despite people close to Ms. Ephron failing to confirm her passing. Eager to mock that the reports of Nora Ephron's death were greatly exaggerated, and to do it by paraphrasing the title of her book, I fired off a snarky tweet.
Boy, was that ever a mistake.
Had I taken the time to read more than one blog post before shooting my Twitter mouth off, I would have learned that Ms. Ephon was in fact very sick, but instead, I just pulled the trigger on a tweet that, once her death had been confirmed, looked very much like tasteless gallows humor, something I never intended it to be. I deleted it as soon as I learned the truth, and apologize not only for doing it in the first place, but leaving it up as long as I did. And now, here we are, on The Internet, chatting away about how to best remember, celebrate, and mark the passing of a human life in an era of instant information. Maybe when this happens next time, what I should have done on Twitter is what nobody ever seems to do on Twitter: Just shut up for second.
As Gabe writes, it's called a moment of silence.