Would you take action if you saw this Facebook status?


cathy3087
on Jan 06, 2011 @ 11:26 am

This is sad.

Apparently a 42-year old British women named Simone Back recently announced through her Facebook status that she was going to commit suicide and none of her 1000 friends thought to check up on her.

She wrote:
        "Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone."

The worst part is that many people did see her status and thought nothing of it.  Some of the facebook messages she got in response to the status were
        "'She ODs all the time and she lies.'


        'She does it all the time, takes all of her pills. She's not a kid anymore.'

        'She has a choice and taking pills over a relationship is not a good enough                     reason.'


Turns out this woman was being serious and she actually died later that day.  How sad.  It goes to show how people are using Facebook these days.  This tragedy could have been avoided if someone took her status seriously.


Would you take action if you saw a status like this on your Facebook?  Or would you dismiss it as a joke?
 


10 Replies


LaurenBlair
Sad on Jan 06, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

That's a tough question; I'm not sure what I would do if I saw this post, it would probably depend on how well I knew the person or how serious I thought they were. It is sad that none of her friends showed any concern about the post.

As strange as it is to say I think in some cases we need to take facebook posts, updates, status and pictures a little more seriously.
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jchang212
Skeptical on Jan 06, 2011 @ 01:33 pm

I think I'd be skeptical of the status, and like what Lauren said, it would really depend on how well I know the person too... but even just a message asking if she's okay would've probably made her feel more... wanted. Even if it was from someone you don't know very well.

Too much personal issues and information online these days... not enough interpersonal face-to-face connection. Technology is convenient, but draws people together and apart at the same time...
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Becky
very sad!! :( on Jan 06, 2011 @ 03:18 pm

This person sounds like she was very depressed. Her announcing her suicide on facebook is really a cry for help - she doesn't want to die, she just wants someone to care enough to stop her.

Her 'friends' responses sound....well very sad actually! It sounds like this lady was a known whiner pity-party sort of person, someone who cried wolf one time too many, therefore no one really took her seriously.

I had a cry-all-night-constant-pity-party friend. Once she mass text messaged all her friends (including me) saying that she's at home having "internal bleeding" and that she's bleeding to death. She wrote that she wants us to pray for her and that her parents are telling her she deserves it and won't take her to the hospital. I called her immediately from work and talked to her. After much evasive answers "i'm bleeding from the stomach" and me asking embarrassing questions "where from the stomach exactly? do you have a gash on your stomach? where's the blood coming out of?" etc.. finally determined she was on her period!! She got it twice in one month so she mass messaged everyone saying she's internally bleeding to death.

This girl has admitted herself into the hospital (gone there MANY times until they finally admitted her to test her and see what was wrong). I remember one of those times I went to the hospital to visit her and she said how they're giving her morphine (according to her the IV drip that was attached to her was morphine). The nurse overheard her and came by to correct her and say that no it's just saline not morphine. Nurse walks away, and my friend says how the saline has morphine in it.

After seeing all this (and more!) drama with this girl I sort of drifted away and lost touch with her. I'm probably a bad friend, but I tried so hard for many many months to make her understand (all this drama for a guy!?) but it was like talking to a brick wall. I spent many many months trying to be there for her, listen to her, give her a shoulder to cry on, stay up night after night (by 'stay up' i mean stay up until the next morning) just listening to her crying on the phone, trying to talk her out of her woe-is-me attitude. After a while we sort of drifted apart. Maybe I wasn't being sympathetic enough so she went to better shoulders to cry on? I don't know ...

So ... after going through that with someone I can sort of understand why her friends made this cruel remarks on her facebook and generally ignored her status.

Having said that, I would personally STILL call and make sure my friend was OK if I saw such a message, even if they were a constant wolf-cry-er. I know myself and I know that God forbid if something happens to them, I won't be able to live with myself if I let it pass without making sure they were OK
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Anonymous
wow on Jan 06, 2011 @ 03:32 pm

Becky it sounds like your friend had some serious depression issues, I hope she has gotten professional help and is better now.

I guess it's true, that when people go beyond "drama queen" to telling flat out lies, it's easy to start ignoring them like this woman's so-called friends did. It's sad no one did anything but at the same time I can understand why people wouldn't take her seriously if she often cries wolf.

I agree with Lauren and Jen that it would depend on who the person is, and if I even had their phone number.
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mamaluv
Thank you Becky on Jan 06, 2011 @ 03:48 pm

... for saying that. While I very much feel for this woman and her family, it did sound from those comments that this was a person who "cried wolf" (admittedly, we're only reading an excerpt here). That's no excuse for the mean spirited comments nor for the ignoring her cry for help. However, there are many people who desire attention above all else and will do anything to get it. This is why when there's a school shooting-related suicide, the police are so worried about copycat crimes. "He got so much attention, so I'm going to do the same". It's so hard to know when someone is serious and when it's just more of the same drama.

Still, if it were someone I know, I would have at least messaged back via Facebook to voice my concern. If I were close to that person, I would for sure pick up the phone. And if this person really was an attention-grabber, I hope that her family at least attempted to get her professional help at some point.

This kind of behaviour can escalate and then you just don't know what they'll do next or who they'll hurt when they finally take their life. When I was living in Europe, a common suicide method people used was driving the wrong way on the autobahn, hoping for a car crash. What a selfish way to go! But it was guaranteed headlines and that's why some people did it.
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LaurenBlair
Difficult Situation on Jan 06, 2011 @ 03:54 pm



Dealing with other people's emotions can be a really difficult task. Most of us are not trained to be guidance counsellors or psychiatrists but we still want to help and listen and give advice. I think the best thing to do in these types of situations is just listen, ask clarifying questions if you need to and repeat back some of what you heard to make sure you are really understanding what the other person is saying (that way there is less confusion).


Becky I think you were a great friend for sticking by this girl for so long, I cannot image how difficult it must have been at times to just keep listening and trying to help. That kind of relationship would take its toll on anyone and I can understand why you lost touch. Maybe send her a quick and simple Facebook message (if you have her) just to let her know you were thinking about her. Sometimes that kind of message can make someone’s day and remind them that they aren’t so alone.

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Becky
omg! on Jan 06, 2011 @ 04:09 pm

mamaluv: they drove against traffic just so they get into a car accident and die? did these people not have toasters and a bathtub!? they not only want to take their life, but are so utterly selfish that they don't care who else they harm while they get their much wanted attention. I would do my best to try to stop someone from hurting themselves, but I have no sympathy for those who in the effort to hurt themselves don't care if they hurt others. when in a car crash, the people you crash with - innocents - may also die! they have parents and spouse siblings and children, they don't deserve to go before their time just because you want the extra drama and attention! that's just not fair :(

laurenblair & anon: she seems better now... i think! she married (someone else) and seems to be moving on with her life. last time i spoke to her was early last year when she told me of her impending marriage and how she still sometimes talks to her ex, and she always talks about her ex to her then fiancee. I don't know... i hope her husband can give her the attention and stability she needs and make her happy. he seems to be doing a good job so far as her facebook status shows :)

You know .... i never get those people who put such personal play by play details on facebook!! Why would i want a few hundred 'facebook friends' to know if i'm having a fight with my husband?? i just don't get it ... weird!
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mamaluv
reply on Jan 06, 2011 @ 04:14 pm

@Becky - Yup, apparently their hurts are so great they want others to know their pain. Whatev. Yes, they endangered their passengers, but there have also been many other innocent drivers and their passengers killed too! And don't even get me started on those parents who kill their kids and then themselves....
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Becky
exactly!! on Jan 06, 2011 @ 04:33 pm

Oh man ... i was just thinking of such incidents right before I read your post!!! like i said ... toasters and bathtubs not readily available?? jeez...
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spotty
facebook friends on Jan 06, 2011 @ 06:01 pm

I don't use facebook so I'm not a good judge of this. But do you really even KNOW, in real life, all of your facebook friends? 1000 friends? Really? Come on. What I'm getting at is if you don't know this person in real life, there is no number you can call to reach them. And if she was serious, she probably signed off of facebook and email and etc... so reaching out to her via that medium probably was fruitless.

As noted by others, it would all depend on how well I knew the person and what her history is regarding behavior, actions, and life events.
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