If you use social media in any capacity, you’re probably aware of Facebook’s baby, Facebook Live. It’s the social media platform’s most popular (and advised) method of uploading and sharing native videos that happen in real-time.
Facebook is so proud of the new feature that there are television commercials that encourage everyone to get on board—essentially the newest way to document your life. Rather than posting photos, simply broadcast what you’re doing, while you’re doing, it using video.
The technology is a great addition to the world of our virtual lives, but it’s proven to pose a dangerous threat.
In the last two weeks, at least three people have used Facebook Live to broadcast their own suicides. First was 12-year-old Katelyn Nicole Davis of Cedartown, Ga. The young girl reportedly hung herself from a tree in her front yard, while the live stream of her lifeless body captured the 20 minutes that followed.
Even worse—for at least 24 hours after the young girl was pronounced dead, family members and authorities had no way of removing the video. Only Facebook had the ability to.
This week, similar instances took place with a 14-year-old girl from Miami, Florida, followed by an aspiring actor from Los Angeles, California. He was 33 years old.
Technological advancements are great when used for what they were intended for. But if we can learn anything from the circulation of these horrific suicides, it’s that people are still hurting.
Suicide is deadly when its victims stay silent.
The need to talk about mental health and suicide has never been greater. Talk about it on Facebook Live, start the conversation with someone that you trust, and reach out to those who you are concerned about. Know the warning signs of suicide, and don’t ever let a friend slip away at the hands of a silent battle.
Our hearts break for the loved ones of these beautiful souls whose lives were tragically cut short.
You can be the change that saves a life. Don’t stay silent, and know the signs that a friend may be contemplating suicide.