A young girl died needlessly because her Tumblr post and video about her pending suicide wish went ignored. And ignored for weeks.
We all have an obligation to do something when we see or hear something like this. Social media is about connections and someone, anyone who this young girl’s posts should have used theirs to voice concern.
We all have a social responsibility.
Just like we would call 911 if we saw an accident, fire or were witnessing a robbery, people have a responsibility to escalate things they see online.
Get on the phone and call the police. Alert Tumblr. Call the local press. Do something. Be a caring human being. Save a life. Let’s not let this ever let this happen again.
19 year-old Olivia Prenpaze posted a video on April 9th that went disregarded by everyone who saw it until her final and successful suicide attempt. I say final, because this wasn’t the first time, Olivia had tried. She had tried every year for several years to kill herself on May 1. In this year’s video Olivia thought she would be successful. Why did no one alert the authorities? Did no one near her see her heartbreaking cry for help? I find that so hard to believe. Did everyone who saw it think it was a fake?
So what can a parent do?
The first thing I did upon hearing this was to put a Google Alert in place on both of my children. Will it help? I’m not sure, but it certainly can’t hurt.
And there are companies like Safety Web where parents can monitor their children’s activities online. Is it a breach of their privacy? Not in my book if you know you have a child with issues like Olivia. Safety Web is only $100 a year, which is certainly worth a child’s life. (And no I didn’t receive payment of any sort for including them in this post.)
I also shared Olivia’s video with my teens. We had an open discussion about this. I wanted them to know if they ever see any videos like this they need to bring them to my attention and that they have a social responsibility to communicate anything of this nature. Here’s the link so you can share this with yours if you choose. I’m not trying to exploit Olivia’s death by sharing this video, but it’s something I thought my teens should see in order to understand.
It’s so sad to think how little social responsibility could have saved this girl’s life.
And let’s not forget Tumblr and YouTube. I personally think mechanisms should be in place on their platforms to uncover content like this. They, too, need to show a little social responsibility.