A cry for help

Worrisome trend

A cry for help

Taking one’s own life is usually considered the last way out of a problem. As if the act itself is not perturbing enough, the new thing seems to be live streaming it on social media.

The recent cases of a 24-year-old Bengaluru boy who jumped to death from the 19th floor of a Mumbai hotel and a 32-year-old man who hanged himself from a ceiling fan in Haryana, both of whom showcased their suicide on social media, bring to light this disturbing trend.Priyadarshini, a professional, feels that suicide itself is something fatal and streaming it live is even scarier. “It is scary for the person committing it and even those watching it.

In fact, it is like a big scar and a haunting memory for someone to see another person dying, also given that they can’t do anything to help and prevent them from doing so. Live streaming is a good option for many things but I don’t understand why people are taking it to another extreme.

Probably, there should be a charge for using Facebook Live or some kind of filters to check what people are posting,” she says.

Shilpa Bansal, a producer with a radio station, terms it as an ‘attention seeking gimic’. “With extensive social networking and social media exposure, we are leading a dual life in today’s age — not everyone projects themselves as they are on these platforms. The crux of the matter is that people want to be heard and seen by everyone. If someone is genuinely depressed and thinks of resorting to suicide, it takes only a fraction of a second to do so. Setting up a camera and live streaming it takes thoughtful planning and is like an ‘attention seeking step’.”

She adds that she can recall an instance where someone tried to commit suicide, while at the same time streaming it on social media, but was unsuccessful in the attempt. “However, the individual instantly became popular on social media.”

Vineeta Wagh, an assistant brand manager with ‘Zivame’, expresses that it has become some sort of a ‘fad’ to showcase one’s suicide, especially after what the 24-year-old boy did.
“When people do this, it becomes an encouragement for those with suppressed suicidal tendencies. Even those who are on the verge of becoming positive give in to their negative thoughts. Such things will only lead to an increase in suicides.”

The problem, she says, lies in the lack of filters. “There should be some kind of filters to see that such acts are not seen by youngsters since they are extremely vulnerable. Including an SOS button would be useful so that events like these can be reported to the police or to someone who is monitoring such issues on a regular basis.”

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