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September 9, 2017


It was only a matter of time when we would discover that the world of "Social Media" was going to lead people to committing suicide, especially our youth. 


Are we, or the so-called experts (pyschiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, etc.), surprised by the number of people taking their own lives due to the various pressures placed on the them by social media?


Abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, mercy killing, all actions of death we have control over, as opposed to a massive heart attack, or accident, where we have no say in, nor control of, the situation. In the case of suicide, ultimately we control the outcome. If not successful the first time, try again!


Looking back over the decades, we have noted the various social issues that have caused people to commit suicide. For example, those people who "came out of the closet" (gays/lesbians), those who had abortions, those bullied, those falling into the realm of recent addictions (pornography or other sexual behaviours) and, now, social media. All have contributed to the fall and demise of so many in society.


So, at what point in time do we accept suicide? Is it not categorized with abortion, euthanasia, etc. as something acceptable? When will it be an accepted practice, "par for the course," "well, it was bound to happen!" As of this day, the loss is always tragic, especially when it touches our youth. There is a lot more discomfort when someone young commits suicide as opposed to someone who is old. Furthermore, when it comes to young people, one often hears that the individual who committed suicide was a "star" athlete, a "star" student, highly intelligent, very active scholastically and in the community, a son or daughter most mothers and fathers would "be proud of." And what about the other youth, the "no names" of society? Are they not worthy of shedding a tear for or even acknowledging their presence in society?


Different from face-to-face interaction, the cyber world does not give you an opportunity to truly "see" the individual and determine if there is something very troubling about that individual. It is so much easier to mask your problems. On the other hand, the cyber world also gives you an opportunity to say things you would never say openly in front of someone. It is a very cold, misleading world!


The experts are just starting to develop methods to determine if someone in cyber space has suicidal tendencies. Revealing depression, self-harming, bullying, these consist of some of the warning signs which may lead to suicide.


Is society becoming complacent when it comes to suicide? Is there anything wrong with committing suicide? Is there still a stigma attached to suicide? In today's secular society, do we really care about suicide? Am I still my "brother's keeper" as referred to in biblical terms. Does suicide have any consequences for those who follow a "religion" or a general "faith?" The most damaging part of suicide is the loss of a loved one. Would this not be the same for those who die by means of "assisted suicide?" Not as intensely, perhaps, for these individuals are usually much older or are suffering from an illness and suicide may be seen as a "welcoming" option.


Because of the erosion of the "collective" in society, "individualism" makes it easier to "turn the other cheek." And why turn the other cheek? Is it then easier to ignore suicide? Do we really want to face the stigma surrounding suicide? Is it not more painful to say, "I lost me daughter/son to suicide," rather than to a car accident?


Should suicide one day be an open and acceptable way of terminating one's life? What detrimental effect will it have on society as a whole? I can't help but think that society is heading in such a direction. 


The phrase the "sanctity of human life" refers to the idea that human life is sacred, holy and precious, argued mainly by those who are "pro-life," under all circumstances. This "sanctity" is eroding at a quick pace. Is it easier to terminate one's life should one live in a secular world without answering to a "Higher Authority?" Those who do answer to a "Higher Authority," such as "God," know that taking one's life is a "wrong" in His eyes. 


There will always be new issues facing society that will lead people to committing suicide. It is without doubt that the "human spirit" seeks to live a content life within a "collective."  Unfortunately, we have strayed from the "collective" and are suffering the consequences. We are perhaps in a spiralling descent, similar to the "Fall of the Roman Empire." One can only hope that society reverses these trends and greater attention is given to the well being of all humans. It would be nice to hear the "collective" shout out in "unison," "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother!"

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