If you think that Facebook is an impersonal medium of communication, I’m not going to argue with you. That “Happy Birthday” wall post from that guy you kind of knew in high school registers about as low as possible on the emotional impact meter, I know. But that’s the kind of stuff we use Facebook for – I mean, it’s better that way. We save the weightier issues for other, slightly more personal communication channels.
But what if a simple Facebook communication led to the heaviest news of your life?
That’s what happened to Army wife Ariell Taylor-Brown, who was tipped about an emergency situation via Facebook. The message from a woman in her husband’s unit led to the phone call that gave Taylor-Brown the devastating news: Her husband, Staff Sgt. Christopher Brown, had been killed in action.
“A girl in his platoon, she wrote me [on Facebook] and she told me to call her immediately, it was an emergency. I didn’t know what she wanted. And she told me over the phone. I was in front of my kids, and I completely had a meltdown.”
Of course, this is against military protocol, which requires a face-to-face notification by military officials. Apparently, they came to tell her about two hours after she had found out via Facebook message and the phone call.
According to military officials at Fort Carson in Colorado, three soldiers were involved in the information leak. It started as a Facebook message which was passed down the line through the three soliders, eventually winding up with Taylor-Brown.
“It was a horrible way for me to find out. She didn’t even give me a chance. I could have been driving and I could have harmed myself learning this,” Taylor-Brown said.
Horrible indeed. Although she didn’t get the full story until the phone call happened, you have to think that the Facebook wall post from a fellow soldier speaking of emergencies gave her all the information she needed. What a terrible and lonely moment for any human being to have to go through.