According to an article on FoxNews.com, a lady died from apparent suicide sometime after posting her actions – Christmas Day – on her Facebook status.
The article declares: Simone Back, 42, had 1,048 Facebook “friends,” none of whom came to her rescue or alerted authorities of her suicidal post that read, "Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone."
It also states: [she] received responses calling her a “liar,” “she OD’s all the time and she lies” and saying the fatal overdose was “her choice,” The Telegraph reports.
And adds: Some out-of-town friends did respond wanting to help, requesting her address and telephone number to no avail. Not one of Back’s friends checked in on her.
This is a very sad story. Any suicide or death of an individual should never be seen as a light thing, because that individual has crossed over into eternity. At this point, their relationship in Jesus Christ matters the most, even though they have surely likewise left weary hearts inside family and friends.
But, this brings up questions regarding Facebook, along with other social networks, and how we allow them to take part in our daily lives. How much is too much? Are we spending more of our lives gossiping over the internet with cyber friends, in place of actually spending time with persons face-to-face?
Take for instance, the “friends” list on Facebook. I personally have 300+ “friends” made up of family, friends I grew up with, church members, coworkers, persons I know and have known, along with others I have merely met online through numerous blogs, forums, etc. Within this list, I most likely only converse with a small number of them regularly in person or on Facebook, and do not even attempt to read the 300+ statuses, updates, etc. which happen daily – or even hourly. I just don’t have that much time, or the desire to do so. Sorry Facebook friends!
With that said, along with the numerous TMI and OMG (ha!) postings on just my Facebook Wall, I can somewhat understand how a status could go unnoticed (even a plea for help) by on-line “friends” (regardless how many) or even Facebook personnel. It is also practical to realize that many times we easily dismiss things, because the person is “known” to “cry wolf” or crave attention. This may not totally remove responsibility from us to seek help for those who may need it, but at the same time it does not place the blame on us and remove all the responsibility from the individual doing so either.
I mean, if we can dismiss the soul hurting we may see each day at work, in our homes, at church, or driving along our way, what makes us think we will pay more attention to our cyber relationships? How easy is it to click “Like” or write a quick comment “Praying for you” – but do we really mean it? Are social networks even used as a means to help one another emotionally and spiritually, to truly build better friendships and communication with those we care about? Or, do they merely make us focus more attention on ourselves, and the curiosity of knowing everybody else’s business – with a stand-off type of responsibility, leaving us with no commitment to intervene with hurting hearts and the needs of others?
Is it better to have 1,048 social network friends, or 1 who really cares? And, if we claim to be someone’s friend, what are we doing to make the relationship so? Are we simple appeasing our conscience, yet searing it at the same time?
Proverbs 17:17a, A friend loveth at all times…
Proverbs 18:24, A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.