The social media world was rocked over the weekend by the news of the death of Trey Pennington. I didn’t know Trey personally, but was familiar with his work. He was a social media expert in the truest sense; he knew what he was talking about.
I knew Trey as an avatar in my Twitter stream. Someone who dispensed advice and encouragement with equal care and enthusiasm. I, like many others, were shocked to learned via Twitter that Trey took his own life on Sunday.
There has been an outpouring of love and support for Trey since this news broke, but also a chorus of judgement because of the manner of his death. It may go against Twitter logic that a man with over 100,000 followers can be unhappy and wrestling with his own dark demons, but who are we to know? Twitter logic has no bearing in the real world.
No matter how much you follow, friend, or circle someone, social media networks can never show the true 360 degree, 3D view of a person. And it’s foolish to think we actually know someone until we’ve spent time with them; until we’ve met their spouse, pet their dog, and broken bread at their table. Until we’ve looked them in the eye and have made the effort to be their friend in real life.
Trey was a real person and not just a Twitter avatar. Most of us never really knew him. Let’s try to remember that before we pass judgement on him.