Imagine you are a parent with teenage children.
Imagine your kids have gone out with friends.
OK, we worry but maybe not excessively. Being Greek parents, we probably worry a bit more than most but they're good kids so we trust them...
Imagine you have gone to sleep thinking all is well in the world.
Imagine waking up to find out from Facebook, (yes you read correctly, Facebook, the site we all love to visit to catch up with our friends) that your loved one has been killed in one of the worst car accidents that your area has had, along with two other friends?
That's the only way we can describe what happened to one of our Global Greek families living in Sydney this week, and our hearts go out to them all - to Bobby's family, to Chris' and to Kelsie's. May God give them strength...
Here is the story as posted on Australian news: To read the whole article click here
WHEN Angela and Maryanne Vourlis woke up yesterday, their 20th birthday, they logged on to Facebook expecting to read well wishes and greetings from friends.
Horrifically, the twins were confronted with the devastating news their brother Bobby, 17, had been killed in a triple-fatal accident, The Daily Telegraph reports.
He and two friends died when the car they were in crashed in heavy rain in Sydney early yesterday.
"I didn't get it. All these people were writing, 'RIP Chris Naylor' and 'RIP Bobby', and I thought: `What's going on?'," Angela said.
Desperate for reassurance there was a mistake, she tried over and over to ring her brother.
"I kept ringing and messaging but couldn't get on to him. So I rang Mum and said: 'Chris Naylor must have died - I just read it on Facebook. But where's Bobby?
"People are writing 'RIP Bobby' too.
"Mum said 'Bobby was with Chris Naylor last night'."
Online social networking had delivered the mother and daughter the worst possible news.
Heartbreakingly, a police delay in notifying the family meant Mrs Vourlis had to ring St Marys police to ask about her son's death - almost six hours after he had been killed.
Bobby's uncle Peter Matelis said it beggared belief that police had not contacted the family immediately after the accident.
"It's every parent's worst nightmare to lose a child in a car accident, but to have to hear it on Facebook, then have to chase up the police yourself, is just horrifying," Mr Matelis said.
And that is it - in a nutshell...
It's every parent's worst nightmare to lose a child in a car accident, but to have to hear it on Facebook, then have to chase up the police yourself, is just horrifying...
How very tragic! Sometimes life is so much more horrifying than any terror story we could make up.
Our question here though is not going to touch on the details of why the family wasn't informed earlier than they were or try to apportion blame for the accident, that is for other people and institutions to do, our question here is what is happening to our world?
What is it about the way society is going that the first thing we do is grab our iPhone, sit down at our laptop, or at our PC, to express our condolences or our feelings, or to post something about such a tragic event.
What is it about the way our society is going that the young person or people who wrote this in their status ( on their wall, their page, or whatever, it doesn't really matter), didn't even think about the fact that the family of those involved might not yet know the news and the devastating effect it might have on them.
Is it a lack of consideration, a lack of thinking ahead, a lack of common sense that prompted this or was it just a desire to express sadness, a natural desire to communicate the sad news and discuss it with someone?
Totally natural you will say. Of course, most of us feel the need to discuss such a terrible event, or even a happy event, anything that has touched us, with someone close to us - generally our family and our friends.
What happens though when we only talk to our friends via the internet?
What happens if, instead of turning to the person next to us and talking about it without anyone else hearing, like everything else we do we put it on our Facebook, Twitter or any other such site, and open it up, potentially, for the whole world to see, without a second thought, not thinking about the possible consequences of our actions.
When used correctly the amazing and generally beneficial effects of globalisation and the internet have been positive, such as the street protests in Iran, but it is not the first time that the internet has been used in an abusive fashion, early last year a young woman had her wedding photos accompanied by malicious comments sent to thousands of people around the world ...unknown to her... by someone who was obviously not a friend. Strangely enough, the young woman is Greek Australian...Daily Telegraph
For Bobby , Chris and Kelsie and their families it is too late unfortunately.
Let us hope, however, that this horrible crash in Sydney that so sadly, needlessly and prematurely deprived three teenagers of their lives, will make us all sit back and think about how we see Facebook, Twitter and other such sites.
Perhaps it will make us all think long and hard before we post something that could have devastating effects on those concerned.
Perhaps it will just make us think before we post.
We hope so...