Today’s society. What a vast and grand and often terrifying subject to talk about. Yet, just as often as it scares us to death, it can warm us completely and make us feel love in a way we’ve never known before.
Yesterday the headlines captured a re-occurring event. The viral spread of an online happening. In this case, it happened to be the about the tragic suicide of a 12 year old girl. My heart and prayers go out to the one’s who truly loved her and are left behind. I’ve lost a child myself, so I can grasp at what emotions might be breezing through. May the little girl rest in peace now.
That being said, this blog today isn’t about suicide. Rather, it’s about the reactions of thousands of people to it. Their comment’s, their attitude, their fears, worries, angers and all that jazz. If at this point in time, you don’t know what going viral means, you should look it up. It’s simple yet complex in how it happens, and not everything will go viral. But if the criteria is met, BOOM!, the internet takes off with it and spreads what ever it is like wildfire.
I’m going to start this off by talking about one of the responses I saw to the girls suicide. It was a rare one. While most of the masses were feeling sympathy, horror, and anger over the event and how the news handled it and how the police handled it. There was a comment that struck a cord with me. In a nutshell explained why it’s important for people to see the video, not shy away and stop living behind sugar coated blinders. Of course this comment was in response to the hoards who felt that the video of the girl should have been ripped down from the internet to keep it out of the eyes of viewers that shouldn’t be seeing it…
That made me wonder. What shouldn’t be seen? Death? Why? It’s part of life and the world we live in. Would it really be fair to any child to come up against it and not know what it was or how to deal with it? No, it would be selfish as a society to hold that stance. So again I asked, what shouldn’t be seen or heard? The girls words before her death? Her words were her words, they were the words of a girl who’d felt like hell had consumed her already and there was nothing left. At the same time they were to words that wished desperately that things couldn’t have been different. Why should we keep those words from the ears of others? My thought is, hearing them sparks a fire under people to be more aware of those around them and do more to help those that are trying to reach out and to learn the signs of people who are trying to reach out.
So, one might say at this point that I’m trying to make a young girls death a learning experience for others. Isn’t that taking away from the important issue? The issue of the heartache and grief that her family must be feeling. Yes, and no. Yes, the even becomes a learning experience as all things become learning experiences. And regard to the what the family must be feeling, coming from experience, you don’t want anyone else to experience it. Thus it makes sense to let the moment find some positive in that learning experience. That positive becomes the road to recovery for the family.
Now we walk back and look at the essence of this event becoming viral in the first place. Why would the death of a young girl flow outward at such a rapid pace? Why would thousands of people and many more counting take the time to watch the video, talk about the video and post or share it on?
I have a couple of thoughts on this. The first being humanities never ending curiosity about what they’ve never seen before. The second belongs to the very real aspect of humanity that finds death and dying a fascinating subject. Just look at how many videos of executions are out there, on numerous sites. The swath of population that will watch them and be fascinated by them is there. The third is a rather new aspect of humanity and how they’ve learned to love reality shows. Reality captured in real time and shared over the net is exciting for many people. Hollywood has captured that market for years now. Thus you can see, there are many reasons why such a tragic event can become viral.
I found it interesting that most of the news publications that carried the article spoke more of their frustration about trying to take the video down, verses the tragedy itself. But there is an answer for this. Chaos sells. Click bait sells. News that creates the Chaos Click is the marketing bulls eye for many new related companies. So to all those that got frustrated over how these articles were written, please talk to our market driven society. After all, that’s what drives such things. The police can’t do anything about that, nor the internet.
Perhaps the Chaos Click could be put side by side with the age old, “Know what your shooting at,” mentality that hunters should have. Perhaps people should take time to think about what their click will do to those in the world around them?
So next time you see some headline about something disturbing, or a new product, or anything at all. Think about the ripples that will go outward from you clicking that link. Like a rock in the water, all the edges of the lake feel it’s plunge.