Written By: Miranda - Feb• 17•11

Subtitle: Why I need to take a break from Twitter

I had been wondering how one could use Twitter in classes, it seemed to me that this was an incredibly rich way for students to learn. I am not a teacher but on Friday night I wrote to a history teacher who has always been open to using new things in her classes: I told her I thought she could do some exciting things with it. I said :

Have the students pick out some people to follow, ordinary people as well as any news sources
Once you are following them have students look at their profiles and follow links to their blogs. You get to know people like:

litfreak Nora
by Beltrew
Is it wrong I’ll be using #Jan25 as an excuse 4 everything?”Why are you buying more makeup, Nora?””Cos there was a mothereffing revolution”

litfreak Nora
by monaeltahawy
“Why can’t you cook, Nora?” (–>Mama) “My generation started a mothereffing revolution.”

That tells you something about Nora doesn’t it? Her blog will tell you more. So will her photo albums. Let the kids learn about the People. Make it personal

They post pictures from the protests via twitter, videos. Incredibly rich source!!!

She was enthusiastic and her students made Twitter accounts and formed a list. Tuesday evening I got home planning a peaceful evening of sanding woodwork and watching the Daily Show, something I’ve neglected lately. I checked my email and looked through the newest links on Twitter. I had been following a woman named Amira Al Hussain from Bahrain on Twitter,  and had just sent the AP History list a link to some “stories” she had posted on Storify, stories formed of Tweets that I thought were very cool.

And then the whole thing exploded in front of my eyes.

@Beltrew: This is very worrying, there are reports of women and children on the square. Gun fire being used on sleeping protesters. #Bahrain

RT @FroozyO: Riot police are shooting aimlessly at anyone. They have closed us in and we can’t escape. Tear gas everywhere. …

@FroozyO: They’re shooting rubber bullets…there’s tear gas everywhere we can’t see$ please help some bone #feb14 #Bahrain

RT @emoodz: Tweeps at #lulu confirm being attacked by tear gas at 3AM #bahrain time, conflicting reports of rubber bullets #feb14

RT @JustAmira: @monasosh Please make noise! We did it for Egypt: PLEASE HELP US #Jan25 #Sidibouzid #Feb14

And turning to Al Jazeera’s live stream I heard the phone interviews from the hospital, hysterical voices, women screaming.  The twitter feed was coming up with links to videos and pictures from the attack. And it was the children, the children that froze my blood. As a mother, thinking of children being caught up in such horror, children missing, gassed, shot at. 3AM in Bahrain and families were overrun and attacked while they were sleeping.

and I wrote myself:

How can I have a life when I know things like this are happening? #bahrain #feb14
Answer: I can’t. I can’t. It is one thing to view these events through the softer scrim of a newspaper account, but seeing it as it happens when one is helpless, thousands of miles away is very hard to bear. It is affecting every part of my life, and I do have a life, I have a job and a diabetic cat and a car that’s just blown its cam seal that I cannot really afford to fix, yet I can’t afford to buy a new car and dishes and an ordinary life in an ordinary small town.

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