Friday, October 14, 2011

Your Virtual Network.... When Someone Dies

Through social media and blogging I met Tricia Murphy in 2007.  She lived in Dublin, Ireland and was a business consultant who specialized in helping people with the power of business relationships and personal branding.  She was known as "The Networking Queen of Ireland".

She had read my book and blog, and we shared many of the same beliefs about why it is important to choose people in our crazy busy world.  We became "online friends" via email and she often gave copies of my first book, "Some Assembly Required: How To Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships" as door prizes when she spoke around Dublin.

In July 2007 my family visited Ireland and we met Tricia for a wonderful breakfast at a restaurant in Dublin.  We spent hours laughing as she told us the customs of my maternal grandparents homeland.  I blogged about meeting Tricia and the importance adding face-to-face conversations to your virtual connections.  That article also appears as Tip #19 in my book "Batteries Not Included: 66 Tips To Energize Your Career".  (Here is the photo of Tricia and I in Dublin).

We kept in touch for a couple of years, but I had not heard from Tricia in some time.  I think of her often, as she was a big personality and had a great soul.  The emails I sent bounced back, and her company website was no longer a live site.  A quick Google Search this morning revealed that she passed away from Cancer in 2010.  The last time we spoke she told me of her battle, but I had not know of her death.

Since we did not have mutual friends, and were mainly "Social Media Buddies", I had not known of her passing.  There was nobody who could reach out to me to tell me she died, and with so much information always coming at us, it is easy to not notice everything that comes past on a Twitter or Facebook stream (plus we had no mutual connections, anyway).

This experience has made me conscious of how this will become more common in years to come. I have other business connections who have passed away, and still their LinkedIn and Facebook Profiles are living on.  Each time I pass their name, I wonder how social media sites will handle this when more people begin to pass (too few in the social media population have yet begun to die, but the time will come, as we all eventually exit). I lived in the same city with these people, and was notified when they died.  But when we only know people virtually over half a world apart, how can we know when they are gone?

I am sad that Tricia died.  I do not know her friends and family, but they are in my thoughts and prayers.  Even more than 15 months since she passed away, I know she is missed.  The next time I visit Dublin the city will have a little less sparkle without her shining smile.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer


Marc Miller said...


I am sorry for your loss. As many of us have connections that span the globe maintaining them becomes difficult. When life changes occur, job change, career change, marriages, divorces, births and the worst deaths the lines of communications get blurry.

Leslie M said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Thom. I remember your visit with her.

This is a very relevant topic, one that I've not seen addressed before.

Thank you for mentioning it.