Sunday, November 30, 2008

Suicide Live- Repost as Seen on

I read this headline of the website and I decided that it was something that deserved attention... after all you are reading this because you are on-line...

Suicide Live
Are we desensitized to what we see online?

"Please forgive me all for taking my own life so early. I tried so hard to fight against this strong battle." Those are some of the last words written in a suicide note by 19 year-old Abraham Biggs, who took his own life in front of a live webcam for the entire world to see. The Florida teen was found dead in his father's house on Wednesday afternoon, twelve hours after he made the online declaration that he planned on committing suicide. He died from an overdose of opiates and benzodiazepine, which he was prescribed to treat his bipolar disorder. Throughout his web video, some users egged him on, while others begged him not to do it. In the end, all of Biggs' viewers watched him commit his final act here on earth – but why?

This wouldn't be the first time suicide was broadcast online. Earlier this year, an investigation was launched to determine if the seven young people from Britain who hung themselves did so primarily because they wanted to leave their mark on the social networking sites they belonged to. Last year, a 42 year-old father of two hung himself in front of a live webcam. And then there are the infamous Japanese suicide pacts that openly discuss their intentions in chatrooms. In each of these tragedies, the person planning on committing the act knew full well that they'd be immortalized online, via videos, profiles, forums, and comments from observers. They shared their suicide because they knew they'd have an audience. But isn't it disturbing that we've come to expect shocking events such as these to appear online?

"If it's not recorded or documented then it doesn't even seem worthwhile. For today's generation it might seem, 'What's the point of doing it if everyone isn't going to see it?" said Montana Miller, an assistant professor of popular culture at Bowling Green State University. We've all documented part of our lives online to some extent, whether it's with pictures, blogs, or comments to and from friends. Personally, I'm guilty of brainstorming picture captions well before I upload the contents of my digital camera. You can't deny that it's exciting to show off pictures of your sweet new ride or blog about the awesome party you went to last weekend. But there are certain things in life that do not require an audience, and should be kept private. It just isn't healthy to use the internet to verify our lives off-line.

At the end of Abraham's video when the police entered the room and found his body, some members of his audience wrote "lol" or "hahahah," as if they were watching just another viral video. These people either didn't understand what was happening was real, or were so desensitized by what they saw online that they just didn't care. Suicide is horrible enough in real life, but the fact that complete strangers openly mocked the deceased is a tragedy in its own right. This is the sad result of broadcasting a life event online that should never have happened in the first place. We shouldn't expect the sordid details of someone's personal life to become entertainment for the rest of us, as not everything needs to be posted online. As an audience, we have to take responsibility for all of our actions - both online and off.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brampton Super Cities Walk for MS

I wanted to post this because the one that sent me the original E-mail, a very good friend of mine was diagnosed with MS May 2006 after she had her first stroke at the age of 26 while her son was only 6 years old. She sent me a link to make a contribution for the walk on-line if you'd like to pledge online at:

Now about the actual event, this is how Rose Monaco (the friend I've been talking about) described it to me:

"On April 15th, I will be taking part in the Brampton Super Cities Walk for MS. I am doing this to raise money for MS research. As many you may, or may not know, Multiple Sclerosis is a complex disease. It is a disease that not many people are aware of, but it is more common than you think. MS attacks may lead to temporary or permanent losses of ability, and this means watching the people we love lose the ability to perform the daily functions that we take for granted (walking, eating, seeing, etc.) As of yet, there is no cure. The Super Cities Walk was organized for people living with MS, friends, family and their communities to raise money to help find a cure. Many people walk for their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. I am walking for myself."

If you would like more information on Multiple Sclerosis, please visit

As for me, I didn't know much about this condition till Rose was diagnosed with it... Since then it has opened my eyes to it... Also, if you want to pledge but not online contact Rose Monaco @ her email address.

Thanks for your support,