Increased rates in mental illness and the rise of social networking sites appear to go hand in hand. First there was MySpace. Get a bunch of friends, one person says something that offends their 'friend'. Then the blogs, comments, and messages between these parties and their friends goes berserk. It's a virtual snipefest, just like the good old days when I was in school, and little cliques would form, so people could sneer and snarl at each other while attempting to spread rumors and make themselves look like they have the high moral ground with all their friends. But everything was face to face sooner or later. Not some anonymous postings on random internet forums.
Yes, Myspace is just like high school. Populated with 14 year old girls, or at least people with the same mentality as 14 year old girls. Full disclosure notice...I am not ashamed to admit I have a myspace site still. I am still a kid at heart and have no problem with meaningless conversations or blog reading over stuff that is even sillier than this crap I write.
But then came the college level of social networking. Facebook (motto: We have more people than the planet Earth) emerges. Some of us grew up, and can show an ounce of maturity when interacting online. Relationships are more easily tracked and people grow close. Then, some dumb rumor gets floating around, or some snide comment is made and people de-friend each other again. Only, instead of chalking it up to simple high school moronism, it is much harsher on the psyches of these social networking geniuses. They can hide behind their computer screen and pretend to be okay, but honestly, they are emotionally wounded. Just now, unlike back in the school days, you aren't forced to show your emotions. Why? Because you're sitting in your living room, or office or wherever behind a friggin computer screen. you can type anything you want, shielded from the atrocities that your words can cause. But the person on the other end knows the hurt all too well.
Being an ego-controlled heartless bastard, I am immune to these things. I couldn't care less what the people at some other IP address think about what I have to say. Not to say that I don't appreciate the kind comments and intriguing positions of commenters here on this blog, or anywhere else for that matter. But if someone truly has a problem with what I have said, well, that's their problem. They can either deal with, get thicker skin and deal with it that way, or they can just go away and leave me to my own little world over here. Either way, I don't care.
But not everyone is like me. You see, I have this coworker. We'll call him Irish, to protect his real identity which is Trevor McCarthy. Oops, blew that one. Anyways, he gets bored at work and likes to call me to have random discussions about whatever comes up that evening. But last week he had to train a guy for 2 days and then took two days off. He didn't get to talk to me much more than say 5 or 10 minutes. Then, after he finished his days off, it was my turn to take a couple days off. Which meant more time for him to not be able to talk to me. I can see how this would take a toll on his mentality and emotions. For he is a strange individual, and yet extremely in touch with his feminine side, in that he needs to talk on the phone all the time. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate the phone. However, my ego, having sympathy for those who can't help their pathetically inferior lifeforms, entertains his whims so I talk with him. As long as it doesn't interfere with my work, so be it.
Trevor had acquired himself a Facebook profile and had 'friended' me. Everyday a new comment from him would show up. Then a friend of his enjoyed the commentary and decided I was fun and cool or something ridiculous like that. I am not fun, nor cool. I'm merely so mysteriously fascinating, that they couldn't help but be drawn to me and figure out just how such a brilliant mind like mine works. (Hey, it isn't bragging if it's the truth!) So Irish's friend decides to be my Facebook friend as well. Then, less than 48 hours later, I noticed signs that pointed to a life changing emergency.
My email inbox notified me of a comment from Irish. I deleted the notification and would read it when I logged into the Facebook. So I get to Facebook, and look for the comment, but it is nowhere to be found. In fact, Irish is no longer on the Facebook at all. Gone from my friends list, my friends' friend lists, and after doing a search, he was completely erased from the world of Facebook. So I wondered to myself..okay I was talking to myself, all 23 of me...what had happened. Had my brilliance just been so intimidating that he had decided he had to limit his exposure to me merely to our late night phone conversations? Maybe, maybe not. But then I noticed, that my new friend....his friend that thought I was fun...was also no longer on my friend list. Well, this boggles my mind.
I call Irish's phone, to see what had gone wrong. It immediately went to voicemail. I leave a message to call me. He had worked the night before, so maybe he was sleeping. But then later that night when he should've been going to work, I still had not received a call back. Something was clearly wrong. You just do NOT ignore the Mook. The Mook can ignore you, but it doesn't work the other way.
Anyways, I checked published works on social media as found in the James Institute of Medicine's Journal of Faux Medical Conditions, and found a Facebook-Suicide link. You can read more about it right here. It seems, that people with Facebook profiles who become suicidal do things in steps. It starts with erasing their facebook profile. After all, if one does not feel worthy of existing in this world, why would they allow themselves to continue an existence in the virtual world and close knit community of Facebook. The next step, for cellphone users is to shut off their phone. For they have no reason to await any messages from anyone. That, and in their sadistic minds, it gives detectives something else to investigate. All good detectives have to check the phone records in case one of the callers is somehow connected to the suicide...or the murder made to look like a suicide. And also, it may help to determine the timeline of when the person left their mortal world.
So, not having a Facebook page at all, my ego naturally jumped to the conclusion that Irish must've killed himself. As for the other friend, in a petty way of dealing with Irish's sudden death, decided that if she couldn't be his friend, than she couldn't be my friend either. That's just the way things work. Now I know what you're thinking. This guy is off his rocker. That's just not anywhere in the neighborhood of rational thinking. And to that I say, "I never said my ego was rational, it's just all powerful. Just because you don't understand it and find it odd, doesn't mean that my mind isn't functioning properly. I just see the pre-formed conclusions and work my logic back later to make it fit.
Turns out that Irish had not committed suicide. Someone somehow hacked his account, and there was a big mess, and he terminated it, and got himself a new page. Now you're thinking, "But Mook, if your thought process and ego is all powerful, how could it be as wrong as it was?"
Well, it wasn't wrong. You're lucky it doesn't smite you for questioning its grand authority. Clearly Irish did commit suicide of a virtual nature when he killed his Facebook page. He shut off his cellphone. The next step was obvious, but my ego in its infinite wisdom intervened, and made him go take a nap instead of killing himself. It works in mysterious ways, and I can't fully explain it to you. As for the other friend, no longer being my friend, she had assumed the worst between Irish and I and de-friended me as a sign of solidarity with him. Pure defense mechanism stuff, which is all easily explainable in the worlds of psychology and sociology. But he is back and she is back, and my Facebook friends list has been re-populated to its old numbers. Which is a good thing. Had I been a normal person like you, it might have caused me to go get depressed, delete my Facebook page, go shut someone else's cellphone off (I don't own one), and then gone and killed myself....of course, only if my ego didn't interfere and spare my life. I couldn't afford to test the theory out twice in 2 days.