Lee (striver) wrote in blog_sociology,
I am curious what people think of the recent suicide web broadcast of Abraham Biggs. Kieth Whitworth of business week wrote "For all this connectivity, the quality and depth of communication has decreased for many young people"

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2008/tc20081219_977572.htm

But is this really an accurate assessment of what is happening or simply kneejerk "blame it on the web" reaction to an unfortunate case? Aside from the fact it was broadcast on the web, did this suicide really have any relation to the web? Were people really acting different than they would have in the "real world"? Are the communications of present day kids really any more superficial than they were 40 years ago?
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  • 4 comments

the_elephant

December 28 2008, 06:46:06 UTC 5 years ago

Speaking as someone who grew up with computers (though not with computer networking until high school), it's a typical "blame it on the newfangled [noun]".

TV shows rot kids' brains. Tabletop RPGs turn kids into devil-worshipers. Rap music corrupts kids' morals. Video games make kids violent. The Internet doesn't let kids communicate.

Typical neo-Luddite BS.

striver

December 28 2008, 07:35:15 UTC 5 years ago

Well...I see more of the attention grabbing that is common in the media. Turning everything into a controversy to get people worked up and involved. That is another issue...I think almost an adrenalin addiction thing.

But I will ask you please, lets not get into attack mode here with statements like "Typical neo-Luddite BS." We can discuss these things and even criticize without such derogatory name calling. This is mentioned in the info page of this community. Thanks

dinah_mead

December 28 2008, 14:22:54 UTC 5 years ago

I personally agree with the Newsweek article. I don't think you can say that the web was responsible for the suicide - that's absurd to me, but I also don't think you can ignore the way technology has changed the way we communicate and relate to people. Like the article says, it's a macro change and although changes in communication don't directly CAUSE a person to do something, it subtly changes the way we relate to the world.

4lilangelsmommy

December 28 2008, 17:22:50 UTC 5 years ago

I think it is much more than a macro change. The very way each individual responds to another human's pain/suffering/feelings et al has shifted to a devastatingly complacent state. As a sociologist, I feel this type of catastrophe starts on the micro level through symbolic interactionism.

We are a society who looks to place blame on anything and everything. While it's utterly atrocious that people watched this, and did nothing, there is a certain amount of blame that falls to the victim. Always remember, there are two sides to every coin.

that's my two cents...