It would seem that our lives are more and more public as we all join social networks. Many are so addicted to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc… that they are now keeping friends and fans updated on everything. I know people who live on their select social network to the effect of the real world transforming into the virtual one.
I was very saddened this week when I read about a guy who was running from the law. What’s the big deal here you say? He was actually stopping every so often to update his status and chat with friends on Facebook. Some of these friends were cheering him on and offering advice and/or warnings. Do they not realize that they could easily be charged with aiding a fugitive?
The sad part is that in today’s pop culture, this is par for the course and nothing is too extreme anymore as long as it can be shared with millions of people and get tagged with a “like”.
As I said, I was saddened by the flippant attitude toward the fugitive, that is until today when I happened across the following:
Taiwanese Woman Commits Suicide While Chatting on Facebook
What would you do when you find out the Facebook friend you are chatting with is trying to kill herself?
Most people would call the police for help in stopping the suicide, but the Facebook friends of Claire Lin instead, tried to talk her down.
In the end, they failed as she asphyxiated herself.
Even more bizarrely, the Taiwanese woman was posting updates about the situation and what she was experiencing as she was doing herself in.
One of the chilling photos uploaded by Lin showed her room filled with smoke from a charcoal barbeque burning next to two stuffed animals.
The terrifying event lasted more than an hour, with Lin continually chatting with friends and posting updates about her ongoing asphyxiation.
Her last sad entry read, “Too late. My room is filled with smoke. I just posted another picture. Even while I’m dying, I still want FB (Facebook). Must be FB poison. Haha.”
Apparently, Lin was in unhappy with her boyfriend for ignoring her and not coming home to be with her on her birthday.
I bet the boyfriend was filled with remorse when he found her body the following day and had to explain the situation to her family.
As we sit in movie theaters and hope to be frightened by the latest horror flick it is considered entertaining because, after all, it’s fictional. Now imagine being able to interact with the characters on the movie screen.
When the lines of fiction and reality are crossed and those who are looking on become so desensitized by the media and the interwebs, the gravity of a situation can elude them.
Of all the people who looked on as Claire Lin slowly killed herself, not one of them even considered picking up a phone and dialing 911. Is it because they were sadistic, or wanted to see how it all played out? Maybe a little, but I think moreover they felt empowered by their ability to speak directly to her as she expired. In that state of mind, everyone becomes a qualified therapist. There’s also the “cool” aspect of something so extreme happening right before their eyes that they themselves are a part of. In my opinion this feeling can easily cloud judgment.
I’d be willing to bet my last dollar that Claire Lin was begging for help no matter what she was saying. She was committing suicide on a social network hoping that maybe her boyfriend would see it and somehow have a change of heart. At the very least, she was crying out for attention and needing someone to step in and stop her. Maybe she was trying to bluff through it and it ended up backfiring. In any case, Claire Lin needed help, real help that can only come from a 911 call.
I’m not even going to get into the psychology behind someone killing themselves with reasoning such as hers, as that’s another disturbing commentary of a world gone wrong.
What I will do is ask the question; is this what we are? Is this an example of what we can expect in the future? Will our culture become so voyeuristic, so interactive, that our traumas will be played out for all to see and take part in? Will even the last refuges of common sense be shocked out of us a little at a time?
Where does it stop? We now have a dead girl who had her whole life ahead of her. What would you be thinking right now if you had been one of those who was tuned in to her suicide? Would you feel a sense of responsibility?….No? My point exactly……
From saddened to shocked and horrified in a matter of two days.
Thanks to Von Capulong at Weird Asia News for this story.