I keep waking up and thinking it’s a nightmare, and then I go on Facebook and I realise it’s real.
(Fadumo Ali on murder of her brother who was stabbed to death in London on Sunday.)
This post isn’t about murder. Or sadness. Or violence.
I read the article on the tube last night on my way home from work, and I wondered how many people were as shocked by this sentence as I was. In some way, it beggars belief that in such a devastatingly sad situation, Facebook has become the default reality check for young people. It’s like the network acts as the support that previously would have been given to us by family, by friends, by rational analysis, by looking deep down within ourselves.
I may be reading too much into this; but this seems to me to be the proof of a profound shift in the discourse on reality. And we’re not talking theoretical musings anymore, with marketers proving that kids use Facebook for checking out their friends; we know that well enough already. We’re talking death in the family, the most personal, tangible and inescapable pain one can experience. We’re talking the deepest emotions and needs being met by a technical construct that’s only a few years old. We’re talking a sister accepting and looking to social media for a confirmation of her brother’s death.
Social network = social reality.
As simple as that.
Tell me I’m not the only one saddened and scared by this. And then tell me you’re not part of this too. Because I know I am; and it has just become very disturbing.
On this topic…
- On pitfalls of being always connected (exploringpixie.wordpress.com)
- Tottenham house party stabbing victim Ibrahim Ali ‘came to UK to escape violence’ (standard.co.uk)
- Is Facebook Taking Over Our Lives..?? (theresacosgrovemarketing.wordpress.com)