Intentional Informing: revisited
January 5, 2011 § 8 Comments
So, my topic for today was about my nearly nonexistent digital presence. In a comment response to my post, my husband shared an article he found on The Daily Mail, and I just can’t let it sit in a comment that might get little to no attention. Before you read my take on it, you should read the article first: “Took all my pills, bye bye”: Woman commits suicide on Facebook…and none of her 1,048 online friends help.
My take: Simone Back intentionally informed her supposed network of “friends.” This is something of a misnomer that Facebook is entirely culpable for–who do you know who can honestly say they have over 1,000 friends? Unfortunately the word “friends” implies something here. It implies a mutual contract of respect, love, support, and compassion. In real life, outside of the digital world, this is a privilege that we bestow upon people with intention. For instance, some people will qualify those in their lives as “friends,” “colleagues,” “peers,” “acquaintances,” “neighbors,” “family” (blood related or not), etc. I myself do this as well. And that is healthy.
Now, is it guaranteed that Simone Back expected her 1,048 “friends” to rush to her aid, to at least call 999 on her behalf, to even ask if she wanted to talk? Who knows? She’s dead. We can’t ask her what she wanted when she posted that status. Is it likely that she expected her “friends” to taunt her publicly on her profile within the very thread where she announces her intention to end her life? Probably not. And is it really the responsibility of this 47-year-old woman’s 1,048 “friends” to keep her from swallowing all of her pills and make sure her life was all rainbows and sunshine? Of course not.
But what should they have done? What does social media, the use of the word “friend” suggest they should have done?
In my book: those who lived nearby should have rushed to her home or called 999. They should have informed her mother earlier than the following day.
I hope that everyone who reads that article is chilled by these people’s attitudes and inaction. I do not intend to have a miserable day or have some form of an emergency, but I do damn well expect my friends to be there to offer support and compassion when I need it.
Any one else want to weigh in?