Are you one of the many thousands laid off in the past few months in the U.S.? If you're a user of Twitter, chances are you've mentioned it. New media gives us a new way to put a face onto the recession, and it's often incongruous, iconically smiling profile pictures next to messages such as "Coming up on two months since I lost my job ... things are about to get critical."

One of my "tweeps" linked to this search on Twitter and it's been a sobering window for me. Half-hearted attempts to make light of the situation instead give it all the more pathos. "My life is sounding like a bad country song, Lost my job, sucky divorce, losing my home...well at least noone shot my cat. yehaw," writes one Twitterer. But the streaming search for "laid off" is far busier, so many people whose spouses are laid off, people waking up from nightmares of being laid off, people whose ex-husbands were laid off, and won't be paying child support.

Most sobering of all are the many who post updates that tell of losing job and house, or job and girlfriend; the streaming sadness is enough to make you want to go in early to work on Monday. Here's hoping the stimulus package is going to slow these search results down to only nightmares and stories of long ago.

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