In April alone there was news of a Sonepat man live-streaming his suicide on Facebook, Big Boss contestant from Karnataka, Pratham, attempting suicide and live streaming it on the website and before that in Mumbai, a Karnataka boy jumped off the balcony of the Taj Hotel but not before telling the world how and why he was doing so.

Now in a heartbreaking incident a Thai man hung his 11-month-old daughter from a rope, broadcast it for the world to see and then killed himself as well. The list does not end here. In Sweden a group of perverted individuals live streamed gang rape on Facebook.

Remind me, please, what was the purpose with which Facebook started? Clearly, all those good intentions have been diluted and Mark Zuckerberg ought to rethink his project’s aim.

Has he created a monster he cannot control?

Yes, from the moment smart phones came about and social media networks started expanding to put a supposed ‘disconnected’ generation in touch with the world, the damage had begun.

Families once disintegrated, broke, wept, fight, celebrated births and mourned deaths within the confines of the home but now affairs are made public, cheating spouses are shamed, boyfriends and girlfriends avenge hurt, divorces are announced, journeys are documented, rape is aired, suicide is broadcast and deaths are shown for popular consumption.

If you are into watching original television series on Netflix, then you may be aware that the whole world is talking about this series called 13 Reasons Why. The series talks about real-life issues like mental health, suicide and depression. A few quotes from the series speaks volumes about the world we live in today.

Death was one part of our life which had a solemn, sombre tone to it, it had tragedy, it had a certain kind of seriousness to it. Grief was personal. Now with deaths and suicides being aired publicly this has become a sort of macabre cinema, which the entire world is invited to. Instead of the memories of loved ones being  framed in albums,  the gory part wiped out and being remembered with fondness, now family members will have a digital graphic memory of the way their loved one died. That is what we have come to.

“And what about you-the rest of you-did you notice the scars you left behind? No. Probably not.” 
― Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why

Then earlier you had people at least lending a helping hand seeing accident victims in distress but now – call it citizen journalism or call it love for social media – first film then think about saving the victim. Here’s an example Teenager dies as people click photos instead of taking him to hospital . It happened in Karnataka.

Have people grown insensitive to any things around them? Has the attitude of breaking the news or being a witness to the incident made people so insensitive that even a man lying in the pool of blood, crying out for help does not move us? Yes, we now wait for the likes first.

“I'm listening to someone give up. Someone I knew—someone I liked. I'm listening... but still, I'm too late.” 
― Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why

Quite surprisingly, this trend is not restricted to India. It has been reported widely across the world. Welcome to the generation where virtual trumps the physical and likes trump humanity. Take a good look, my friends, at that smartphone you have in your hand and think about the relationships you have ignored, conversations you have forgotten all because your virtual family has become more important to you than the person sitting across the table or the parent eagerly awaiting to hear from their children.

No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”
Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why