A 42-year-old British woman was recently reported to have committed suicide, and although she announced her intention to do so in a status update on Facebook, none of her 1,000+ friends even thought to check on her - despite some of them living in walking distance of her home!
Simone Back wrote the following message on the social networking site on Christmas Day:
"Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone."
Most disturbing of all, however, is that instead of anyone picking up the phone or trying to check on her, many just responded to the status with messages like:
'She ODs all the time and she lies.'
'I hope that she is lying about this or you're going to feel guilty tomorrow.'
'Did you catch the part about Simone taking pills?? .. the 'bye bye' part?? Did anyone go by personally and check on Simone.. or call 999?? what's wrong with you people?? is the gossip really more important than her??'
'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.'
It wasn't until Back's mother, Jennifer Langridge, wrote the following message that people finally realized the seriousness of the situation:
'My daughter Simone passed away today so please leave her alone now.'
She later explained:
"Nobody told me anything about it until the following day when I was sent a text saying: 'get help.' I am disabled so can't get up the stairs to Simone's flat so I called the police straight away. It is upsetting to think nobody did anything for my daughter."
Unbelievable. And so tragic.
It seems clear that this woman was deeply troubled, but we think this says something quite serious about how people are using, and communicating with others, on websites like Facebook, and it's not a good thing.
We can't believe that someone would write something like that, and not ONE person who saw it would be so unconcerned that they'd not only ignore a cry for help, but openly mock it!
Our thoughts are with Simone's family during this difficult time.