Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   6 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Suicide in Virtual Reality Hell

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Touching 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 10/3/10

Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

I can't begin to imagine what Tyler Clementi's parents are feeling right now.

"It was a prank," seems hardly like acceptable words that the parents of a beloved son want to hear as a reasonable explanation or form of apology. It's neither a strong nor logical defense for the choices two Rutgers students made when they allegedly thought nothing of filming Tyler's private sexual encounter and then disseminating the footage on the Internet.

Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei will have to think about and live with their poor decisions for the rest of their lives.

Are they responsible for Clementi's death?

That decision is not mine to make.

Did their words/deeds/actions push Clementi over the edge?

Probably so.

Bullying, harassment, vicious attacks, racism, bigotry, invasion of privacy and continuous, hate-filled language that gets hurled like Molotov cocktails are seemingly the latest rage these days and we've got all the technology to bring virtual pile-ups directly to our computer screens and mobile devices.

Don't leave home without them.

This tragic suicide is no more the footnote to the pain that led up to his death than claiming "it was a prank" qualifies to fit under an umbrella policy that justifies repeatedly inflicting pain and emotional damage on another human being. Especially, just because you can.

Are those two students personally responsible for the unnecessary death of Tyler Clementi?

No.

We all are.

In our reptilian brains, we know that death is part of life even if our egos try to convince us that we will somehow be the exception to this rule. Show me one person who got out of life alive. That we can now be killed or run off by waging wars with words that are tweeted, emailed or delivered in blogs and comments is what we are failing to consider and take responsibility for.

Words can kill quietly.

By virtue of the virtual world, we have all been guilty of attaching real emotions or pinning labels on people we have never known or met. We do it with complete strangers from behind our computers without thinking twice about the recipients of our homegrown opinions, accusations, name-calling, general snark and heightened viciousness.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Patricia A. Smith is a writer and artist (and sometimes both at the same time). A former columnist, restaurant critic and cruise line executive, Smith has lived in London, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Egypt, Costa Rica and France. She returned (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Plastic Surgery for Dummies

Top 10 Reasons I Don't Fast on Yom Kippur

What About the Day BEFORE 9/11?

Facebook and Me: The Breakup

Phone Sex for Amateurs

Like it or Not, the Truth about Men

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
4 people are discussing this page, with 6 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I am not sure that we live in virtual reality Hell... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Oct 4, 2010 at 8:26:23 AM
Thank you for posting this well written article, P... by witch1 on Monday, Oct 4, 2010 at 8:51:17 AM
and write this a hundred times: A computer is noth... by Margaret Bassett on Monday, Oct 4, 2010 at 9:42:58 AM
do not really think but the technology imposed b... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Oct 4, 2010 at 9:59:46 AM
"Some fly drones to kill people. Some make pranks... by Margaret Bassett on Monday, Oct 4, 2010 at 10:33:56 AM
I had not heard of this. What a crappy thing to d... by David Roche on Monday, Oct 4, 2010 at 2:55:08 PM