I got an email from my best friend on Saturday. It was a Yahoo story about a young man who committed suicide via a webcam in front of a live, virtual audience. This took place on the site Justin.tv .The way I understand it, this young man was threatening to take his own life and was egged on by other viewers to do so who were watching this take place. A few tried to stop it and contacted the police in his area. However, it was too late. The young man, Abraham Briggs Jr., suffered from bi-polar disorder died from a combination of opiates and benzodiazepines he took for his illness. What sort of a world do we live in where we encourage those who are hurting and are in trouble?
You know, people out there are shocked and appalled by this. Well, I’m not one of them. I have been using the internet for almost 10 years and some of the things I have seen online have been unbelievable. People starting flame wars and trolling chat rooms and communities. There is always some sort of drama somewhere. Then there is the social site problems that are hot beds for gossip, rumors and impersonating or making up monikers to hurt and upset others. My Space and Face book are two of the leading sites for this. I see the callousness people exhibit online towards one another. They waste time and energy fighting and commenting using the most scathing and biting remarks they can find. Plus, while people get their kicks out of breaking each other, I hear the other side of it. The side where people are traumatized by these actions and events. How they are needing therapy to cope with the stress, anxiety and depression that all of this has brought on. So, when I heard of this recent act of bullycide, I was not in the least surprised. Abraham Biggs Sr. was shocked by this behavior as most are but me? No, we have become a callous lot who just do not give a darn about one another at all. Any decency that was once there has left the building.
As I have said many a time, we have to crack down on this cyber bullying problem. Another young life is lost at the hands of tormentors who had fun watching their victim die right in front of their eyes. Why do we continue to stay in the dark? Why are we enabling this? Parents, please talk to your kids and set limits with them on the use of the computer. Educate them on what is right and wrong in this world. I believe many have lost this capacity and everyday, we continue to develop behavior that grows more and more pathological. We are breeding a nation of sociopaths! Let them know that watching someone committing bullycide online is not entertainment. It’s a serious problem and instead of enabling it, teach them to report it. Shouldn’t someone out there give a darn? Is there any human decency left? It can be done if we begin to take this seriously. It only takes a voice and be that voice! My condolences go out to the Biggs family. May your son rest in peace. He was a good kid that fell victim to a cruel society. Nothing more or less.
Resource Cited: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081122/ap_on_re_us/webcam_suicide
Elizabeth Bennett is the author and consultant of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective. She resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit http://www.peerabuse.info .