Monday, October 4, 2010

Coping with Terror Alerts the Lily Rose Allen way

The State Department recently issued a Travel Alert for Americans contemplating a trip to Europe. It's based on intelligence that the terrorists are planning to attack tourist venues.

State Department under secretary Pat Kennedy told reporters by way of a conference call today: "We are not asking Americans... we are not, not, not saying that they should defer travel to Europe at this time, absolutely not."

If you shouldn't cancel your trip, what should you do?   In a word, communicate!  DoF suggests you share your thoughts and feelings -- your concerns, worries, anxieties -- with other people by way of social media.  That's what people on the frontier of new media are doing.  For example, a tweet by British recording artist Lily Rose Allen recently caught our attention: 
  • lilyroseallen Oh god, foreign office have put people travelling to France on high terror alert!!! I'm in Paris already.
    The above tweet was retweeted by no fewer than 22 Lily Rose Allen fans.  Lily Rose then reflected on some recent experiences that had made her afraid, and she shared these fears with her fans:
    • lilyroseallen Scared being here but scared to get on the Eurostar home.
    • lilyroseallen Come to think of it. The day before yesterday there was this weird guy balancing a small bottle of something on his knee.
    • lilyroseallen He was sat next to me at a taxi rank, I thought he was being strange so I snuck a picture.
    • lilyroseallen I hope I'm just being a mad paranoid pregnant lady and that he wasn't a terrorist about to unleash deathly virus.

    The last tweet about the possibility she had just encountered "a terrorist about to unleash a deathly virus" was re-tweeted 52 times.

    Lily Rose is a world famous creative artist.  Don't be discouraged if your mind doesn't work the way hers does; if your imagination doesn't run away with you so quickly.   It's enough to simply share what you feel. 

    Lily Rose's tweets prompted dozens of her fans to share their own concerns about terrorism:
    • nicocleo seriously, we are all concerned at the news of high terror alert all over Europe :-(
    • P_L4NE yeah unscrew the lid of that end of the world!! made in Affstaniganh by osama bin  
    •  jessiesyard cross your fingers bit when it's high terror alert tis usually means they foiled a plot it's when (cont) 
    • missbufton I totally know how you feel. Rucksacks, public transport and me are the worst combo ever. 

    One fan tweet stands out -- it's one every celebrity should take to heart: 
    • emz194 ♥ @lilyroseallen for tweeting normal tweets rather than advertising shit like every other celeb....boring!!!
    What is more normal than feeling anxious about a Terror Alert?  As we like to say, real friends share fear.  Even if you're not a celebrity, supposing you want more followers on Twitter, you would be well advised to emulate Lily Rose Allen.    

    The Department of Fear has been won over by Lily Rose Allen.  To us, she's a veritable "Fear Superstar."  Whether on Twitter or Facebook, we know that there are many others out there sharing fear.  Although you may not be as well known as Lily Rose, we admire you just as much.  A list of our favorite tweets is available here 

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    Dr. Rebecca Wolf
    Undersecretary for Community and New Media
    United States Department of Fear