Why can’t the answer be both: Shellie Ross used Twitter as an outlet for support and she exploited a tragic event in a (semi-) public forum.
I can’t get worked into a tizzy over this matter. While I might be inclined to think that Ms. Ross displayed extremely poor taste, I don’t see that she harmed anyone. Tweeting about her son’s death was probably very much in keeping with a well-established, previous pattern of self-centeredness and self-inflation, and the only witnesses to it were folks who were apparently familiar with her online persona and interested in it, for some unknown reason. To be a “well-known blogger” is merely to be a big fish in a small (or maybe that should be very broad but very shallow) pond. I had never heard of her, myself.
While I’ve never used Twitter and don’t expect to anytime soon, as a writer and actor I’ve been involved in self-promotional activities of various sorts for decades. Some of it’s necessary, and some of it must inevitably spill into self-aggrandizing blather. Over the past year I’ve become fairly adept (if I do say so myself) at both informing and entertaining my circle of friends, fans, and acquaintances via Facebook. They chose to “listen” to me by linking up as Facebook friends; some respond and play the game with comments and entertaining updates of their own, others rarely check in at all or likely ignore me most of the time. Self-control is the deciding factor, and anyone can employ it to the best of their ability. So go ahead and type and tweet away; if anyone’s had enough, they’ll do what they have to.