Monday, November 24, 2008
Cyber Suicide: The Next Frontier?
I'm not the most tech savvy cat on the planet, and I have no real desire to be. And yet, there are some elements of the net that truly confound me. For instance: Cyber suicide? Is this the fly new 2K version of a snuff film?
People have given birth on camera. People have sex whether either with a partner or via self-gratification on camera. People have even been beheaded and the event shown to millions who had the stomach to watch. Was good ole American on-cam suicide ever far away?
On Wednesday, police found the body of 19-year-old Abraham Biggs Jr. dead in his father's bed. It was 12 hours after he first declared on the web site for bodybuilders that he planned to take his own life. Sticking to his promise, he took a fatal drug overdose in front of an Internet audience
Have we lived too long, and seen so much that we’ve become an emotionally impenetrable society? Sometimes I wonder.
When we’re born, each of us starts out with a clean slate. We are pure, innocent, and we are vulnerable. But somewhere along the way, this world has a strange and tragically numbing effect of desensitizing so many of us.
Reading of this 19-year-old kid taking his life online, I could only shake my head at the sadness of it. I wonder, in a world where some people have become so desperate in their loneliness, and so obsessive in their need to be noticed, was this his final bid to say to the world: PLEASE! LOOK AT ME! NOTICE ME! LET ME KNOW I MATTER!
Was it a cry for help? A cry bellowed to a bunch of strangers who really didn’t give a damn about him?
It’s beyond outrageous that several people watching from their computer screens actually egged him on, as if seeing someone take their life somehow would make their day. A slow tear came to my eye as I pondered the insensitivity of this shit. What has happened to our humanity? Has it been cyber-raped along with our inbred censor of right and wrong?
Although some concerned viewers actually DID contact the Web site to notify police, authorities did not reach his house in time.
I can’t help but think that many of those who watched this happen thought it was a trick, a bluff, or a dare of some kind. And when it happened, they must have been truly horrified. But I’ve no doubt that some undiagnosed sickness in the heads of others actually WANTED to see it. And so, they got their wish.
This young man was obviously an unhappy soul. He was on medication. He was apparently clinically depressed. He'd made other attempts previously. I’m not so sure if the net is the proper place for some people in such a vulnerable and delicate mental condition. Why? Well, because while there are many folks out there who are good and kind enough to want to help, there are millions more who have no tools, no advice, no words for them. Tragically, there are even more who simply don’t care and who really don’t give a shit. Next! Click
When you break it down, we’re all just strangers passing through, aren’t we? But every stranger has a story, an emotional life, a past, a secret, some unshared ache, and a need to connect with the spirit of another being. Everyone wants and needs someone willing to understand them, to console them when they’re down, to lend a hand, a kind word, a joke, a positive outlook, a sense of sympathy, or empathy, and to provide a core connection that binds us all as humans.
I wish this young man had happened upon such a person in his real life, or even online.
Instead he found only contributors to his misery, only those who wanted to see a show.
Maybe that was this young man's final memory: We’re all alone, and then we die.
All I can hope is that some part of his soul manages to find the peace and understanding he obviously wasn’t allowed to experience here on earth.
Have we lived too long, and seen so much that we’ve become an emotionally impenetrable society?
God help us if we have!