A near tragedy through Facebook!
The story of the young boy is neither the first nor the last to be recorded in the years through the Internet and social media, which we assume function as a “parallel society” and make it easy to understand many other conditions that can and seem inexplicable.
On the 29th of last July, this boy wrote the following disturbing Facebook post: “Goodbye to all the friends. There comes a time in life that you know that it’s the end of the line. Now I found the strength to go to rest. Thanks everyone who talked, played and laughed with me through here. I have only one request. Remember me with a smile and not a tear. I always wanted to make everyone else laugh. Sorry if you will be upset for a while, but always remember to smile. The end”.
If you were a real neighbor of his, certainly you would try to dissuade him with the help of a specialist, because of what we all understand from what he wrote that he was about to do. You would even visit him in his room, you would ask why. But if you are a web neighbor, the only thing you know about this young man is his Facebook “identity”. How do you behave? Do you call the police? And if he’s joking?
We happened to know him via Facebook and therefore witnessed the entire evolution of this dramatic story, which fortunately didn’t have a tragic end. After his post, we thought we must not scare him, his friends and acquaintances even further. “Life is good, try to boost your morale!!! We all pass difficulties, you aren’t alone!” we read and another: “Let the jokes and answer Thanasis. We’re worried”.
Some days after his first post of suicide, on August 2nd the young man returned with another message through which it became clear what had happened:
“Good morning to all pals. I want to apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your interest through my heart. Apart from a hand injury I am relatively well. There is no excuse, but I went through a series of problems, my mind was darkened and I did the wrong move. I owe a larger thanks to my friend, who alerted for assistance, which calmed me down. We even became pals and communicate every day. I wish I could give a big hug to each of you individually! Again a huge apology and even bigger thanks to everyone for everything! I’m back again, so prepare yourself! Take care !!!”
A web of friend replied: “If you do that again I hit you”, another urges him: “Use your mind positive, you can achieve a lot”, while the near-suicide replies: “You’re right. I didn’t pay for my mistake, so I continue”.
A few days earlier a similar incident had even hit the door of Cyber Crime.
Through Cyberalert, the Agency was informed for a user of the Internet that he intended to commit suicide. Upon detection of his digital geographical position, the police spotted him and took him to a hospital, where it was found that he was taking drugs to suicide.
According to official data, from the beginning of 2014 118 suicide attempts over the Internet have been prevented, while in total since 2011, the year of the establishment of the Department of Electronic Crime, 969 cases have been treated!
Surely this isn’t a purely Greek phenomenon. Internationally, daily thousands of such incidents with nice or not ending are recorded.
A few months ago, the suicide of a 17 years old Chinese girl via Instagram shocked, as she had published the last photo of her life, both her legs in the window of an apartment building in Shanghai, where she stayed. After a few seconds, she jumped.
Internationally two views about the relationship between social media and suicides prevail, one that argues that social media encourages such an act as a solution and the other says the exact opposite.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle, given that social media operates as a parallel society. As in any society, so there are digital ones, which encourage and others which prevent.
However, it’s useful to know the address of Electronic Crime. If you feel that someone wants to commit suicide, call 11012 and 2106476464 or send a email to firstname.lastname@example.org . You may help to save a life…