In one of the more gut wrenching displays of social media’s grotesque way to capture the worst parts of life, a woman unknowingly live tweeted her own husband’s death yesterday.

Caran Johnson tweets local news and traffic reports in Vancouver, Washington, and began providing information yesterday about a car crash. Eventually, she started wondering where her husband was, and began to worry that he might be involved.



This is such a nightmare to read, because haven’t we all moments where we can’t get in touch with a loved one and we assume the worst? It’s stomach churning just to think about it, but unfortunately, it gets a lot worse. Johnson eventually called the police in search of her husband and later tweeted the heartbreaking result:

I’m trying to think of ways to put this in a larger context about how social media pervades every single part of our lives, and it would make sense that something like death of a loved one would get live tweeted, even if accidentally. But mostly I’m over empathizing with this woman and feeling queasy.

This is the second time in two days that we’ve reported on social media under grisly circumstances – yesterday, a woman posted a Facebook status accurately predicting her own death. It’s surreal and uncomfortable to say that this will probably become more common than we think – I have seen more than one Emergency Room visit chronicled on my news feed in the last week alone, complete with pictures and bi-hourly status updates (although Johnson’s incident is different, because she had no idea she was tweeting a personal story).

I could tell you that there’s a silver lining to this story, and there is at least some positivity surrounding the tragedy. Johnson has received an outpouring of support from the online community, and she’s been responding to the comments which I assume is helping her cope. While that’s of course positive and uplifting, I’m pretty sure Johnson doesn’t want community support – she just wants her husband back.

Photo: Shutterstock