After a video clip of a suicidal student was posted on Facebook yesterday, ‘as expected’, it

BHAWNA ATMARAM

spread like wild fire. Viewed, shared, thoroughly dissected and commented upon by a new breed of child psychologist and psychiatrist ‘experts’, the clip portraying the poor child at the centre of this tragedy, (who was later rescued by the Fire Brigade Team and other wonderful souls) is yet another lesson about the ruthless universe of social media used in an irresponsible way. While countless people who knew absolutely nothing about her were busy judging, criticising and mocking her, all that mattered on the other hand for some

callous individuals was merely the rabid need to stir up attention and garner ‘likes and comments’. The clip is still online to feed the hunger of the hyenic trolls when in fact, more than anything else, the young girl urgently needs help and support. The unsolicited heartless comments and leaving the door wide open for anyone to ogle at her distress will do nothing to pull her out of the hell she feels her life has become for her to have taken such a drastic step.

Sensational voyeurism is not a new phenomenon, though its impact has magnified due to social media. While families are crying over the deaths of their close ones after an accident or murder, many newspapers simply do away with the mourning period and want to capture the rawness of the grief, complete with photos

or video clips. The objective: maximise views and comments. In that process, humans are gradually being dehumanised as all that matters is exposing their distress in an almost psychopathic fashion. The solutions: reaching a consensus among the different stakeholders of media companies in order to act with discernment and responsibility to preserve the humanness of our species. Constant raising of awareness must also be undertaken to sensitise the population at large about empathy and human values. A colossal yet essential task.